May 28, 2024

With three titles on the trot, the latest two in dominant fashion, and the potential for another two, Paul Stoddart has warned F1 there’s a “danger” fans will get bored with Max Verstappen’s success.

Breaking his own record from the previous year, Verstappen achieved a remarkable feat by securing 19 wins in the 2023 season, surpassing the 15 victories that led him to the World title. This outstanding performance occurred in a 22-Grand Prix season, with Red Bull adding two more wins through Sergio Perez, resulting in an unprecedented streak of 15 consecutive victories starting from the previous year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

This achievement surpassed McLaren’s 1988 record of 11 consecutive wins. Red Bull’s win percentage also outshone McLaren’s from that legendary season when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost drove to victory in 15 out of 16 races.

Max Verstappen: F1 – Red Bull Athlete Profile

Despite the historical significance of Verstappen’s dominance, concerns were raised by former team boss Paul Stoddart, who warned that the 2023 season might be remembered solely as the “Max Verstappen and Red Bull championship,” potentially leading to a decline in fan interest. Stoddart drew parallels with the “Lewis Hamilton effect” or the “Michael Schumacher effect,” where sustained success could lead to boredom among fans.

However, Stoddart acknowledged that the competitiveness behind Verstappen, coupled with occasional dramatic events on the grid, helped maintain Formula 1’s excitement during the season. While recognizing Red Bull as a formidable force and anticipating their continued dominance in the following year, he suggested that the team might face challenges from within, considering Red Bull as its primary competition.

Stoddart speculated that the only way to surpass Verstappen’s record would be for Red Bull and Max to outdo themselves in the 2024 season. Despite expecting Red Bull to remain a strong contender, he left room for other teams such as McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, and possibly Aston Martin to showcase brilliance and challenge Verstappen. Stoddart predicted a more thrilling season ahead, suggesting that while Verstappen might still exhibit superior speed, the competition could intensify, making the races more exciting for fans.

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