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Albon claims F1 is not boring - is he right?

Alex Albon has recently shut down concerns that Formula 1 is currently boring amid Max Verstappen's continued run of dominance.

Verstappen Saudi
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Alex Albon has responded to critics of the current product on display from Formula 1, which is very much a one-sided affair.

“It’s a bit of a shame to see comments about Max [Verstappen] and it being a boring season because it’s totally not that.”

Following his dominant campaigns in the past two seasons, Verstappen already looks to be on course for more championship success this year after cruising to pole position and wins in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively.

It has led to renewed concerns over the inevitability of a race weekend - but is there still something to get excited about?

Verstappen's dominance

Albon urged fans to look beyond Verstappen’s current form to realise that the grid is closely packed.

The Williams driver added that “even if you include Max, it’s still the tightest field in Formula 1.”

It is true that the current F1 grid is a tightly knitted group and thankfully the sport has left behind the days of manufacturers being several seconds per lap off the front-running pace.

But never before have we witnessed such dominance from a single driver. Last year, Verstappen scored 10 victories in a row to set a new record and the Dutchman can match that tally if he triumphs at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

19 out of the previous 20 races have been won by Verstappen. It’s a simply staggering run, one that was only interrupted by Carlos Sainz at the Singapore Grand Prix last year.

Recycled comments of ‘if you remove Verstappen, the standings look exciting’ hold no value - there is no substance and no reality in which you can do so that changes the true end result.

The 2021 hangover

It has been intriguing to watch the pecking order behind Red Bull over the last 12 months and the unpredictable nature of the form book has produced some rousing qualifying and Grand Prix surprises.

However, there is only so much excitement that can be generated when it comes to a battle in the midfield. A titanic, unyielding fight for eighth place on the track may be fun to watch but it soon becomes forgotten due to it having little impact on the front-running pecking order.

Reflecting back on the 2021 season, it was a clear example of F1 at its best. The rivalry between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton (as well as Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Mercedes’ Toto Wolff) drew huge engagement.

Why? It was a constant battle for Grands Prix victories that culminated in one of, if not the most exciting World Championship battle in F1 history.

Every season doesn’t have to consist of the constant controversies that made up the 2021 campaign - but simply entering a race weekend not knowing if Team A or B will come out on top is enough to make any season interesting.

Since the start of the new technical regulations two years, this hasn't been the case. Aside from some early-2022 strenghth from Ferrari, a nailed weekend from Mercedes in Brazil and a Red Bull slip-up in Singapore, it has been a predictable and prosaic affair.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

There’s nothing to take away from Red Bull and Verstappen, who are doing a speculator job to maintain their advantage at the head of the field.

It very much is down to their rivals to ensure they catch up and compete, as none of them will take satisfaction with their current positions.

To label it as “not boring” just feels insincere - yes, we can get excited about wheel-to-wheel battles and yes there is little to split several of the current manufacturers.

But the most exciting fight will always be at the front of the grid. History remembers the champions, not those who finish fifth.

If one figure is dominating and the prospect of a multi-party battle is absent, such labels placed upon F1 are undeniable.

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