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A possible threat looming over Red Bull’s domination?

Written by Alrissa Mariam, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Image Credit: Motorsport Week

Having amassed 21 wins in a total of 22 races, Red Bull dominated the 2023 season, leaving room for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to be the only non-Red Bull driver to win the one remaining race in Singapore.

However, it appeared that Max Verstappen’s unexpected DNF during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix posed a risk to their dominance this season, as it allowed Sainz the opportunity to win just 16 days after having his appendix removed.

Another factor to consider was during the Miami Grand Prix, when McLaren’s Lando Norris absolutely powered over Verstappen following the Safety Car after Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant had a collision. The British driver led the final stint, putting a seven seconds gap between himself and the defending World Champion.

Consequently, Red Bull is facing a genuine threat to their dominance, led by McLaren and Ferrari. That was the stark conclusion that emerged after Norris finished less than a second behind the leading Dutchman in the Emilia Romagna round.

Charles Leclerc’s podium finish, also Ferrari’s first at Imola since Michael Schumacher’s victory in 2006, sparked a red sea of Tifosi celebrations. Leclerc also took an emotional home victory at Monaco, the following round. However, the Italian team must improve its qualifying to catch up with the championship leaders. 

Team boss Fred Vasseur, who has proficiently guided the scarlet Scuderia back into contention, admitted that their hopes of winning were dashed on Saturday rather than Sunday. Leclerc and Sainz finished third and fifth on Race Day, leaving Sergio Perez struggling in eighth place in the Red Bull.

Image Credit: Reuters

While his rivals anticipate Red Bull’s relative decline, Verstappen has demonstrated a talent for getting more out of his car than what might be expected on a difficult day. After two tough days of practice, he and his team managed to pull out an unexpected pole position lap before proceeding to win the race.

Despite Leclerc’s historic home race win for the first time in Monaco, Verstappen’s lead after eight races remains substantial, with him 31 points clear of Leclerc in second on the Driver’s Championship and 57 ahead of Norris in third.

However, as we approach the relaxed straights yet tight hairpins of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Red Bull is finally forced to look over their shoulders.

Previously, it was with a sense of nonchalance. Now, there will be a hint of worry.


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