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Red Bull Racing

F1 2023 season review: Red Bull as close to perfection as you'll get

The final 2023 F1 season review focuses on Red Bull - who romped to a seventh Drivers' and sixth Constructors' crown in devastating fashion.

Verstappen win Abu Dhabi 2023
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

It is very rare at the top of elite sport for a team to perform as flawlessly as Red Bull did in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Every single component of what makes a good race team was on display from Christian Horner's outfit as it demolished the opposition with a scale of dominance never, and will likely be again, seen.

As the paddock took in the first drubbing in Bahrain, Mercedes' George Russell predicted that Red Bull would win every race, and while that didn't quite happen, just how close it did come to happening was astonishing.

The fact that Red Bull won 21 of the 22 races is one of the greatest achievements in Grand Prix racing, given the ever-increasing number of races and opportunities to screw up.

This was a team operating (nearly) faultlessly across the board in terms of pit-stops, trackside engineering and operations, strategy, motivation and perhaps a little dollop of luck thrown in.

It has been said that the dominance on display has been a factor in F1 losing fans after the fluke of the 2021 season - but it has always been this way.

Before Red Bull it was Mercedes and then Red Bull and then Ferrari and then Williams and then McLaren. It's just the way it is, and will always be. F1 is a meritocracy and the best will always rise to the top.

That's not Red Bull's fault - rather Mercedes and Ferrari simply must shape up.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Juan Manuel Fangio - Stirling Moss - Jim Clark - Sir Jackie Stewart - Niki Lauda - Alain Prost - Ayrton Senna - Michael Schumacher - Lewis Hamilton - Max Verstappen.

The next name on F1's Mount Rushmore of 'drivers who define their era and is the man to beat' has its latest incumbent.

The lineage from Fangio to Verstappen is now undisputed as Verstappen recorded one of the greatest seasons by any athlete in any sport, ever.

But for a driveshaft failure in Saudi Arabia qualifying, a poorly timed Safety Car in Azerbaijan and Red Bull forgetting to pack the RB19 set-up book before setting off to Singapore, Verstappen would have won every race (Sprints don't count).

If he had, that would have been the single greatest achievement in the history of sport, eclipsing Australian batter Sir Donald Bradman's Test batting average of 99.94, considering the variables and the amount of luck it took to win some of the races.

As it was, Verstappen had to settle for just the 19 wins from 22 races, demolishing the record book as he went.

He's now third on the all-time wins list with 54 at just 26 years old. Suddenly, Lewis Hamilton's 103 doesn't seem that far away...

As for Sergio Perez, on paper, his season was a success. He finished second in the championship and achieved that for the first time in Red Bull's history - but in reality it was a failure.

He finished 290 points behind Verstappen, five more than his tally of 285.

His trudge around Europe after realising the title dream was over after being passed in Miami for the win was painful - as was his 'try to win at the first corner in Mexico City.'

He's in the seat for 2024, but beyond that, unless there is a drastic improvement, his stay will come to an end.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Christian Horner

Christian Horner must now be considered alongside the likes of Enzo Ferrari, Ron Dennis, Frank Williams and Toto Wolff as one of the greatest Team Principals in F1 history.

His record speaks for itself, but perhaps his greatest achievement came in the early years of the turbo hybrid era when Mercedes was cleaning house.

It would have been all too easy to allow Red Bull's head to drop, technical staff depart and the team to feel sorry for itself.

But Horner worked hard to keep his technical team together, and trained the best pit-crew and trackside operations team in the pit-lane. When was the last time you can remember Red Bull making a huge strategic blunder?

He might not be the most popular boss with social media, but he gets results and deserves praise for steering a team to almost the impossible feat.

After all, as Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Grey: 'There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.'

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Who will be Red Bull's closest challengers in 2024? Let us know in the comments or by voting in the poll!

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