Former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is convinced that Max Verstappen’s period of dominance will end in the near future.
Verstappen eased to a third successive World Championship last year with a record 19 victories from 2023 races, with Red Bull’s RB19 proving to be the most dominant F1 car in the sport’s history.
With Verstappen amassing enough points to win the Constructors’ Championship himself last year, the 26-year-old will start the 2024 season as the overwhelming favourite to make it four in a row.
Max Verstappen dominance will end – Guenther Steiner
Additional reporting by Sam Cooper
That is despite the positive noises emerging from the likes of Mercedes, whose technical director James Allison revealed the team aim to be “in with a shout” of winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles having established a “pretty ambitious program” with the new W15 car.
Steiner, whose departure from Haas was confirmed last week, is hopeful that other teams will catch Red Bull soon – pointing to the impressive progress made by McLaren over the course of 2023.
And he is certain that the competitive order will reset when F1’s new technical changes – related to both the chassis and engine – come into effect in 2026.
Appearing at the Autosport International event, attended by PlanetF1.com’s Sam Cooper, Steiner said of Red Bull’s dominance: “That will end. This is a period, in my opinion.
“I think some of the teams will catch up next year. Look at what McLaren did last year, they caught up pretty quickly.
“Any race, it can come in any race that somebody catches up, because the regulations stay stable. There is a limit to what you can do develop and everybody’s getting to that point.
“And then, for sure, in ’26 I think the cars are new. With the new engine regulations, there will be a complete change of everything in 2026, in my opinion.
“I think the sport will stay interesting. And the domination?
“Obviously Max dominated a little bit last year. I think he’s in the best car and I think he’s the best driver at the moment.
“But there are other good drivers now and other good cars out there, which will be coming up this year.”
Steiner’s comments come after Ford chief executive Jim Farley provided an update on Red Bull’s preparations for the 2026 rule changes, when the F1 World Champions will welcome the American automotive giants as the team’s new technical partner.
Speaking at the manufacturer’s 2024 season launch, Farley warned that Red Bull’s “top notch” 2026 engine is set to fire Ford “first class to the very top of the podium.”