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Italian Grand Prix 2023

Stoddie Straight: F1 teams need soul searching to catch Red Bull

RacingNews365's expert columnist and former Formula 1 Team Principal Paul Stoddart believes it will be impossible to catch Max Verstappen and Red Bull after the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen Monza
Column
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari put everything into that race and overall they performed pretty well, considering their previous races.

Max Verstappen had to work for that one. The fact that he didn't get pole and Carlos Sainz did a fantastic job all weekend, he certainly deserves to hang on to that spot on the podium.

With Sergio Perez it was the same old story, he always has to come back through the race. There is nothing that is going to stop Red Bull from taking both championships well before the end of the year.

It wasn't just 10 times for Max, it was 15 wins for Red Bull and these kind of records are there for a reason; it takes forever to break a record of nine and now Max has got 10. There's nothing to stop him from winning 11 or 12.

Christian Horner was asked at the weekend 'Could Red Bull win every race?' The answer is 'yes they can' they've got the car to do it and the drivers to do it. But you also need the one thing that people can't predict: Luck.

At any point in time you can have an unreliability issue, you can have an accident at Turn 1, so there are things that can affect this. But just mathematically looking at the rest of the championship, they could win every race and Max could win every race

Consistency behind Red Bull is all over the place

I really feel that a lot of the teams have got to do some soul searching and look at trying to get consistent. We saw the start of the year with Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso, we've seen other teams like McLaren had a big push forward, but then they slipped back.

Not every track is going to suit every car, that's quite clear. But what we're not seeing is when that team pushes forward, they do not seem to be able to stay there - not even for a few races on the trot.

That makes the racing interesting, because you don't know from one minute to the next who's going to perform well in a particular weekend and that's good from a fan side of things. But from a team stability and aggression point of view, you're not seeing teams constantly up there week-after-week trying to challenge Red Bull.

In one week its McLaren, next week its Mercedes, next week its Ferrari, it's all over the place.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Ferrari result will help Vasseur

This result will help Frederic Vassuer massively.

Of course the Tifosi will be asking the question 'If you can do it in Monza, why can't you do it at other tracks?' That's the problem. They're unforgiving in their criticism if someone's not performing at the top level at Ferrari.

I'm not saying that Fred's not. He's got a very difficult challenge ahead of him and, as I have said before in this column, for me it was a big mistake to actually let go of Matteo Binotto.

It would have been far more sensible to bring Fred in at the commercial end and leave Matteo in charge of the technical, because Ferrari is still lacking that technical ability.

Whilst they put everything together for Monza, I fear that at other races they'll be back to where they were before. That's not good for Fred and it's not good for Ferrari.

Hamilton needed harsher penalty

The penalty for Lewis Hamilton for his collision with Oscar Piastri was not enough. In a situation like that where it was so clear, that should have been a drive thru.

It's very hard if you are in the stewards room and you're trying to decide the correct penalty. They have been pretty consistent with the five second penalties, but there are times - and this was one of them - were five seconds is not good enough for another drivers race.

With Lewis, it was not the first time he's done it. At Silverstone when we saw Verstappen in the wall and that was a drive thru penalty, and for me at Monza, it was a drive thru which would have completely ruined his race the same as it did with Piastri.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

It will be a while before anyone challenges Verstappen

I don't see anyone challenging Verstappen. There are some really good drivers in the championship now and they all deserve that place. The top 15 out of 20 drivers actually deserve their place and on a good day, any one of them could win a race.

But I don't see anyone that can challenge the dominance of Red Bull and particularly not for the next two years. Like we saw with the dominance of Mercedes from 2014 to 2020, we saw it with Ferrari in the Schumacher years, we've seen it back in the 90s with Williams and McLaren.

I don't actually see anybody challenging Red Bull until 2026 when the new rules come in place. Only if somebody makes a big step, like has happened in the past, and comes out on top. But I think for 24' and 25' it's going to be much more of the same.

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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