Lando Norris fears ‘boring’ Max Verstappen dominance has become turn-off for F1 fans

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris and Max Verstappen with a Red Bull badge between.

Lando Norris, Max Verstappen and a Red Bull badge

Lando Norris believes it is “obvious” that Max Verstappen dominating Formula 1 is having a negative impact on the fans.

Formula 1 introduced new ground-effect regulations in 2022 with the aim of bunching up the pack and creating overtaking-friendly cars, but the era has instead triggered Verstappen’s rise to an unstoppable level, with he and his Red Bull team looking well set for a third title double in a row and a fourth successive Drivers’ title for the Dutchman.

Lando Norris concerned over ‘boring’ Max Verstappen dominance

McLaren driver Norris finds himself in that chasing pack trying to lay a glove on Verstappen, but while he was ‘best of the rest’ last time out in China, securing a P2 finish, Verstappen was never under threat as he claimed a fourth win of the F1 2024 campaign.

Norris and Verstappen are friends off the track, but when it comes to what is happening on it, Norris does not believe Verstappen’s stranglehold on Formula 1 is healthy for the fanbase.

“It is frustrating for people watching but it has always been like this,” Norris is quoted by the Press Association.

“Now, we are seeing more dominance than ever, so it is never going to be the best to watch and the only exciting races have been the ones that Max is not in.”

Doubling down on the idea that Verstappen’s dominance serves as a turn-off for F1 fans, Norris said: “Of course it is going to be. There is no way you can say it won’t be.

“If you see the same driver winning every single time without a fight then of course it does start to become boring and that is obvious.

“You have got one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1, in one of the most dominant cars and it is a combination that is deadly. If Max wasn’t there and you had two [Sergio] Perez’s, it wouldn’t be the case.”

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Norris made it clear that he is not trying to discredit the success of Red Bull and the “smart people” that have made it happen.

With each new season in F1’s ground effect era, Red Bull personnel have expressed an expectation that the grid will converge, yet no team has worked out how to take the fight to the dominant Austrian outfit.

Norris believes we are approaching the point of “plateau”, but it is not realistic to expect a team to suddenly jump up to Red Bull’s level.

“Am I surprised how far Red Bull is ahead? No,” said Norris. “When you know how tricky it is to get it right, then it makes sense. They are just smart people.

“You hope teams plateau and we are starting to get there but at the same time to suddenly jump and catch them [Red Bull], it just doesn’t work like that.”

Verstappen has a lead of 25 points over Red Bull team-mate Perez at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

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