Red Bull Racing has started the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship with a display of utter dominance over the rest of the field.

After Max Verstappen took the 36th win of his career and Sergio Pérez grabbed a comfortable P2 for Red Bull in the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes' George Russell (seventh in the event) suggested that the current situation should not change for the rest of the year.

"Red Bull has got this championship sewn up", said the Mercedes-AMG driver. Moreover, he added that there are no rivals for the Milton Keynes-based squad in 2023. "I don't think anyone is going to be fighting with them this year", Russell concluded.

Since Formula 1's turbo-hybrid era started in 2014, Mercedes officially won seven World Drivers' Championships and eight World Constructors' titles.

Was a car of the German outfit as dominant as Red Bull's RB19 car to start a Formula 1 season? From 2014 to 2020, Mercedes started a season with a 1-2 in the first race three times (2015, 2016, and 2019), while the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix was the fourth time any team achieved a 1-2 in the season-opener since 2014.

In this article, we will give you the three most dominant 1-2s in an F1 season-opening race since the hybrid Power Unit regulations kicked in back in 2014.

Without further ado, let us take a look.

#3 Mercedes - 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, 2nd position, the Mercedes Constructors delegate, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, 1st position, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, on the podium during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit 2019.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, 2nd position, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, 1st position and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, on the podium during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit 2019.

The 2019 Formula 1 season saw a hugely competitive Ferrari SF90 in Pre-Season Testing. Accordingly, many expected the Italian team to have the upper hand in early 2019. However, Mercedes put that conclusion to bed in the first race of the year.

In Qualifying for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas grabbed the front row, with Sebastian Vettel putting his Ferrari in third, around six tenths behind the Finn.

Bottas went on to win the Grand Prix ahead of Hamilton's damaged W10. The Finn grabbed the lead at the start and finished 20 seconds ahead of his teammate, the eventual 2019 World Champion.

Third place went to Max Verstappen in what was the first podium of the Red Bull-Honda relationship, which continues to be dominant in 2023.

Verstappen finished 22.5 seconds off the race leader in the race. After that, Mercedes went on to score 1-2s in the first five races of the year (an F1 record). Of course, not all those wins were dominant, with reliability issues on rivals Ferrari playing a role, especially at the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix.

#2 Mercedes - 2015 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W06

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W06 driving at Albert Park circuit, Melbourne, Australia

After dominating a Formula 1 season for the first time since its 2010 return, the 2014 World Champions, Mercedes, started the 2015 campaign even better than the previous year.

Although Lewis Hamilton eventually won the 2014 World Drivers' Championship in the final race of the season, reliability troubled his car during several events throughout the year, including the first race.

However, it was different in 2015. Mercedes took advantage of its power unit and also of the step back taken by 2014's closest rivals Red Bull to control the front in 2015 and hold off a resurgent Ferrari.

Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix race, and also in Qualifying. On Saturday, the gap between the second-placed Mercedes W06 and its next rival was eight tenths. In the race, the lead Mercedes was 34.5 seconds ahead of the third-placed Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, who was making his debut for the Maranello-based team.

#1 Red Bull - 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

2023 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix Results: Race Winner & Report

2023 Bahrain F1 GP Podium: 1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 2. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) & 3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

After winning 17 of the 22 races of the 2022 season and also having the best car in the 2021 F1 campaign, Red Bull Racing delivered another big hit to rivals, with its 2023 challenger, the RB19, being possibly its best creation so far.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez qualified three tenths ahead of the closest rival on Saturday and went on to put up a dominant 1-2 on Sunday, even after Pérez fell behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc at the start of the race and remained there throughout the first stint of the event.

Although the gap on Saturday wasn't huge, Sunday was comfortable for Red Bull's drivers.

Ultimately, Verstappen and Pérez cruised to the chequered flag, with the Dutchman finishing 38 seconds ahead of the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso, the third-placed racer in the event.

Pérez also had a 27-second gap over the third-placed driver.

Will this trend continue in 2023? It could certainly be the case, although the Red Bull camp expects to have rivals a little closer in the upcoming race at Saudi Arabia.

Follow results, stats and history of the 2023 Formula 1 season with F1-Fansite.

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3 F1 Fan comments on “Russell admits defeat: Can anyone challenge Red Bull in 2023?

  1. Blo

    Turn the rest of the races into sprint races and get them over quicker. It’s sad for MV that he has no competition, sad for us too.


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