Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore believes Max Verstappen “ruined the World Championship a bit” by his outright dominance in 2023.
The Red Bull driver took 19 wins from a possible 22 on his way to 575 points in 2023, more than double nearest rival Sergio Perez come season’s end as the title race was officially wrapped up by September.
It was over as a meaningful contest long beforehand however; the Dutchman racked up 10 race wins in a row, was interrupted in Singapore with a rare off-colour weekend, before winning the final seven races of the year.
Max Verstappen ‘ruined the World Championship a bit’ by 2023 dominance
Verstappen himself has, quite understandably, not got much of a care for the spectacle when he is winning, with the Red Bull driver only focusing on his own performance and adding to his substantial trophy collection.
He moved above Sebastian Vettel and onto 54 career victories come the end of the 2023 season, with the rest playing catch-up as the combination of Verstappen and the dominant Red Bull RB19 was too much for the others to cope with.
While the racing behind Verstappen was lauded for much of the year as being thoroughly entertaining, the race for the front is all most people are interested in.
Briatore, who was at the helm of Renault during Fernando Alonso’s title-winning years in 2005 and 2006, called Verstappen an “extraordinary driver”, but feels just how crushing his dominance has been has dampened the spectacle in Formula 1.
“Unfortunately, Max Verstappen ruined the World Championship a bit,” Briatore told Italian publication Autosprint.
“I hope there will be a bit more excitement next year, because otherwise it won’t be fun anymore. But Red Bull has an advantage that I think is hard to undo at the moment.
“The Red Bull team is extremely strong and Max Verstappen is not doing badly at all. He is an extraordinary driver.
“Max Verstappen is really at one with his car, especially considering Sergio Perez has the same car.
“You really see the difference with Verstappen, who does extraordinary things. I hope there will be more excitement next year.
“I hope for all Italians that Ferrari can at least compete, because winning a World Championship will continue to be very difficult”.