Max Verstappen dominated the last season like there was no competition. He broke all sorts of records in 2023, as he has been doing since 2021. Most noteworthy was how many races he won in the past couple of years. There has been no driver in F1’s history to win 34 Grands Prix in two years. But the Dutchman has been unstoppable, thanks to Red Bull’s superior car. Since 2022, Red Bull has taken over the hegemony on the grid from their arch-rival Mercedes. The cost cap era saw a shift in power with it’s introduction in 2022. Mercedes dominated the grid for eight years in a row in the turbo-hybrid era.
Prior to the turbo-hybrid era, the Austrian outfit used to enjoy hegemony, with Sebastian Vettel steering the wheel. Vettel even equaled the record of his countryman of winning most races in a season. However, Max Verstappen broke the record of the two German greats in 2022. He won 15 races that year when the previous record was 13 GP wins in a season. Since then, he has never looked back. But Christian Horner predicted the other teams and drivers who he thinks can challenge Verstappen this year.
Red Bull Boss Praises Fernando Alonso For His Performance Last Year
Recently, Speedcafe.com quoted Christian Horner saying that Red Bull won’t have a similar year to 2023. Last year, the Austrian outfit won 21 races out of 22. Other teams could not catch up to the Milton Keynes team. But the Red Bull boss thinks 2023 was a “Unicorn year” for his team. He expects other teams to make their cars more like RB19. Moreover, the Austrian team is not looking to “Reinvent the wheel” after last season. It is because their plans and designs have been working since 2022. Hence, Horner expects the other teams will close the gap a little in 2024. He recalled Mercedes had a tough and difficult year but pointed at the depth the German team has.
Horner believes Mercedes will get things together at some point. Moreover, the Red Bull boss also praised the impressive second-half performances of McLaren and Ferrari in 2023. However, the other team that caught his eye was Aston Martin, especially their main driver Fernando Alonso. For a 42-year-old guy, Horner thought the Spaniard was brilliant. The Red Bull boss added that he drove fantastically well. Christian Horner feels Aston Martin must be trying to figure out why they could not maintain the momentum they had at the start of 2023 for the rest of that season.
Real Threats For Max Verstappen In 2024
Christian Horner thinks Mercedes has a lot of depth and great drivers who can surely close the gap this year. Moreover, there’s McLaren and Lando Norris, especially, who came very close to Max Verstappen in the second half on a few occasions. Ferrari was obviously the only non-Red Bull team to win a race last year. Hence, Horner feels they have potential. Then, the Red Bull boss said Aston Martin also has great resources and facilities.
Moreover, they recruited a lot of new talents in the last few years. But Red Bull boss said they have revisited all areas in the car because they can’t afford any complacency. On top of that, after winning 19 races last year, Max Verstappen would have to perform really worse this season to lose the title to other threats.
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