Lewis Hamilton has been told to forget about challenging for the F1 2024 title, with Red Bull simulator Jake Dennis warning it could be another “dull season” dominated by Max Verstappen.
Red Bull enjoyed the most dominant season in F1 history in 2023 as Verstappen eased to a third consecutive World Championship with a record 19 victories from 22 races.
Verstappen has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021, with Hamilton without a victory since the penultimate round of that season in Saudi Arabia.
Lewis Hamilton told to forget about challenging Red Bull
Despite suffering their first winless season since 2011 last year. Mercedes remain hopeful of returning to title-winning contention in 2024 with technical director James Allison revealing the team intend to be “in with a shout” of winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
Allison also claimed that Mercedes have established a “pretty ambitious” program for the new W15 chassis, which is expected to be a significant departure from the team’s last two cars under F1’s ground effect rules.
Yet Dennis, who drove the RB20 car in opening practice at the 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi, is expecting Red Bull and Verstappen to dominate again in 2024 – having fully switched development to the new RB21 after last September’s Singapore Grand Prix.
He told the Mirror: “We’ve got an extremely fast race car again at the Red Bull team.
“I would expect us to become Champions again, unless someone like Ferrari or Mercedes somehow manages to find about a second [per lap] overnight. I think it’s going to be quite a dull season in Formula 1 with Max probably dominating.
“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t switch our attention to the 2024 car quite quickly. We didn’t do any development on the 2023 car after Singapore.”
Dennis combines his Red Bull duties with his racing activities in Formula E, with the 28-year-old crowned World Champion with F1 hopefuls Andretti last season.
The Nuneaton-born star is hopeful that Verstappen’s dominance in F1 will persuade more fans to turn to Formula E in the search for more action-packed racing.
He said: “It’s so dominant from Max right now, it really brings new viewers to Formula E. It brings our Championship alive because we just don’t have that – we have a championship which is extremely difficult and close.
“We have 20 cars within two or three seconds on certain tracks, so it’s a lot more exciting and a lot more enjoyable for the fans, I would say.
“We just need to branch out there to a bigger audience for Formula E and get plenty of exposure, which is what is needed for the championship to take it to the next level.”