Jos Verstappen declares Red Bull dominance over as McLaren, Ferrari get ‘closer’

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen on the approach to Portier corner in Monaco

Max Verstappen rides the kerbs in Monaco

Jos Verstappen, the father of Max Verstappen, has declared that Red Bull’s dominance of F1 “has come to an end” – and urged the team to respond to the growing threat posed by McLaren and Ferrari.

Red Bull have established themselves as F1’s dominant force since the ground effect regulations were introduced in F1 2022, with Verstappen Jr winning 49 of the last 74 races.

Jos Verstappen declares end of Red Bull F1 dominance

Having produced the most dominant campaign in F1 history last year, winning 21 out of a possible 22 races, Red Bull had been widely expected to ease to another World Championship double in F1 2024.

Although Verstappen has won five of the first eight races of the new season, Ferrari and McLaren have shown increased pace in recent weeks to apply pressure on Red Bull.

Verstappen endured his most challenging weekend so far in Monaco, where he could only finish sixth as Charles Leclerc collected Ferrari’s second victory of F1 2024 to reduce the Dutchman’s lead in the Drivers’ standings to 31 points.

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Verstappen Sr, who made 106 F1 starts between 1994 and 2003, has been left concerned by Red Bull’s recent drop off, claiming his son’s performances have been “hiding some of the problems” with the Red Bull package.

And he is convinced that Red Bull’s dominant spell is over against the backdrop of the growing threat posed by McLaren and Ferrari.

He told Dutch publication De Telegraaf: “For sure there will be other tracks where Red Bull will do well again, but I am very curious [to see] how they will solve these problems.

“They will have to do something about it, understand where certain difficulties come from. Meanwhile, it is clear that McLaren and Ferrari are getting closer and closer.

“Max has been good at hiding some of the problems, but you can see how big the difference is between him and his team-mate.

“It seems to me that Red Bull’s period of dominance has come to an end.”

Asked about a potential title fight ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Verstappen Jr argued that Red Bull’s recent experience of winning would make the team “very tough” to beat in a straight battle for the World Championship.

He told media including “Being at the front for quite a few years and as a team, the way we operate, I think it can make a difference to teams that are trying to chase that.

“We just try to stay calm and collected, we know that over the last few races teams have been catching up or have beaten us, so of course we want to try and improve as well.

“But I do think with the experience that we’ve had over the last few years, it makes us a very tough team to beat in a Championship, because we don’t make many mistakes.”

Verstappen Sr’s latest comments come after he warned following the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix that the Red Bull team was “in danger of falling apart” if Christian Horner remained in position after an investigation into the team principal’s conduct was dismissed.

The 52-year-old accused the Red Bull boss of “playing the victim when he is the one causing the problems” and called for Horner to resign before the team “exploded.”

Jos Verstappen doubled down on his claims earlier this month after it was announced that design guru Adrian Newey would leave the team in early F1 2025.

“The team is in danger of falling apart. I was afraid of that earlier this year,” he said.

“For internal peace, it is important that key people stay on board. That is not the case now.

“Newey is leaving and earlier this year it also looked like Helmut [Marko, Red Bull adviser] would be sent away. For the future, that is not good.”

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