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Red Bull Racing

F1 mid-season review: Red Bull the class of the field

2023 could hardly have gone better for Red Bull. Will they win every race?

Having won both titles at a relative canter last year, hopes were high at Red Bull of a repeat in the current campaign.

Yet even the most optimistic of employees at Milton Keynes would not have dared predict the level of dominance that the team has displayed so far, taking a clean sweep of all 12 Grands Prix and three Sprint events.

While expected rivals Ferrari and Mercedes have largely flattered to deceive, Red Bull has carried on where it left off last term, with the RB19 proving an even more dominant beast than the previous year's machinery.

World Champion Max Verstappen is driving better than ever and seems certain to wrap up his third straight Drivers' title long before the season's end.

Even a mid-season slump hasn't seen Sergio Perez dethroned from second place in the standings – though some are starting to call into question his continued employment at Red Bull.

There is an aura of invincibility and infallibility around the team and with the RB19 having the magical combination of speed and reliability - allied to Verstappen's prodigious talents behind the wheel - few would bet against Red Bull winning every race for the rest of the campaign.

Max Verstappen

Having won last year's title with relative ease after Charles Leclerc's challenge evaporated, Verstappen has carried across his form with a level of dominance rarely seen from one driver.

Such is Verstappen's superiority that even a lowly qualifying position is seemingly not enough to stunt his progress - nowhere was this more evident than at round five in Miami, where he lined up ninth after a red flag ruined his qualifying session.

Undeterred, the Dutchman scythed through the order and by lap 20 he had caught and passed race leader Perez – who had started on pole – on his way to a significant victory.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Verstappen has won every available race since then and even the two races he failed to win earlier in the year, in Saudi Arabia and Baku, owed much to bad luck.

It seems only unreliability or a collision could prevent the relentless Verstappen from winning every remaining race, with the Dutchman ominously stating that there's still room for improvement.

Sergio Perez

While Verstappen has swept all before him, Sergio Perez has not had such a happy time on the other side of the garage.

At first, things went well, with two wins in the first four races prompting speculation that the Mexican may be set to challenge Verstappen for the championship.

However, as mentioned above, those two wins came in part due to Verstappen's bad luck, and Perez has not come close to matching his illustrious teammate in equal conditions.

Perez's failure to convert pole to win in Miami seemed like a turning point in his season. Had he won that race, he would have taken the lead in the Drivers' Championship, and could perhaps have used that momentum to kick on and truly challenge Verstappen’s dominance.

As it was, the Miami weekend kicked off a rotten run of form that saw Perez fail to reach Q3 for five races in a row, with poor Qualifying positions often begetting below-par results on Sunday.

Third and second-place finishes before the summer break suggested that Perez might have arrested his slump, but already the vultures seem to be circling above the Mexican, who is underperforming compared to his car's potential a little too often for Red Bull's liking.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Mid-season reviews RN365 News dossier

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