Red Bull's Dominance in F1: A New Era of Racing Supremacy
Nov.28 - Red Bull broke the all-time record for the most dominant winning percentage in a full season of Formula 1 in 2023 - an astonishing 95.5 percent.
It's an ominous statistic for rival teams facing what Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits is the "Mt Everest" of chasing down triple consecutive world champion Max Verstappen.
Seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton agrees: "Red Bull won (in Abu Dhabi) by 17 seconds and they haven't touched the car since August.
"So you can pretty well imagine where they will be next year."
Confidence sounds very different, according to former F1 driver Timo Glock.
"I still see a lot of uncertainty at Mercedes," he is quoted by Speed Week. "But it would be nice if they and the other teams could get closer to Max Verstappen so that things are much more exciting again in Formula 1."
Frederic Vasseur certainly sounds more hopeful than his Mercedes counterpart Wolff about overseeing the development of a Red Bull-beating car over the winter.
"Until five months ago, the Red Bull was on another planet," said the Ferrari team boss in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. "Well, today they weren't on another planet.
"We struggled at least until the central part of the season, but in the last 7, 8 races we performed very well," Vasseur added. "So there's no need to upset our plans now."
Glock, though, says Hamilton is right that Red Bull having abandoned aggressive development of its ultra-dominant 2023 car so early is an ominous sign for next year.
"They were in the comfortable situation of having already gained such a lead with Max halfway through the year that they were able to concentrate on the 2024 car very early," said the German.
"The people there knew exactly in which direction the concept needed to be developed."
But according to Red Bull team advisor Dr Helmut Marko, it wasn't just the team's speed that led to such unprecedented dominance - but consistency.
So can Red Bull dominate in exactly the same way again in 2024?
"The regulations are at least remaining stable," Marko noted. "The engines can only be improved in terms of reliability.
"For the chassis, we will see an evolution of the existing cars. And our car was fast on all tracks this year and we were always able to make optimal use of the tyres in a wide variety of conditions," said the 80-year-old.
Some might suggest that Verstappen's next title defence will be just as easy as 2023's turned out to be.
"It will definitely be tighter," Marko insists. "But as long as no one manages to challenge us consistently, I still think we have a good chance.
"We also have Max at the absolute top level. Almost scarily," he said.
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