Formula 1 sent Max Verstappen warning

Johnny Herbert and Lewis Hamilton have expressed apprehension about the lack of competition in Formula 1.

Formula 1 fans may lose interest in the sport if Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team continue to dominate unchallenged, Johnny Herbert has warned.

The RB19 cars have established a significant performance advantage over their competitors this season, prompting Red Bull to shift their development focus to the 2024 car.

Red Bull currently sits 154 points ahead of their closest rivals in the constructors’ standings, with Verstappen securing six of their eight wins so far. 

While exciting battles have unfolded lower down the order, there have been minimal genuine challenges to the Red Bull duo at the front.

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Herbert, a former Sky Sports pundit, expressed concerns that Red Bull’s overwhelming dominance could lead to a decline in viewership. 

Speaking to OLBG, he stated, “There is a threat that people might turn off because it is predictable, and Red Bull’s domination could be a problem. 

“It is not what I want. 

“I want others to have that chance to take it to Verstappen. 

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“We are not seeing that. There is always the risk that predictability could lead people to switch off.”

Highlighting the need for competitive balance, Herbert referred to previous seasons where rivalries and unpredictability engaged audiences. 

He mentioned the involvement of Netflix and the growing interest in F1 from America, emphasising the importance of providing exciting racing. 

Herbert pointed out, “If you look at the Netflix and America coming on board, we have had a couple of years where we have had a fight on our hands. 

“Ferrari was in the mix last year, but then it went awry. 

“This year, Red Bull is in complete control.”

Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s old title rival, has been unable to challenge the Red Bull driver this year. 

Although Mercedes has made progress and aims to contend by the season’s end, the seven-time world champion cautioned that Red Bull’s dominance could persist unless regulatory measures are taken. 

Hamilton suggested that the FIA should establish a designated time for teams to start developing their next cars, stating, “They don’t have to make any changes to this year’s car anymore because they’re so far ahead, just cruising 100 points ahead of us. 

“I think the FIA should put a time when everyone is allowed to start development on their next car.”

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Verstappen, in response to Hamilton’s remarks, tersely commented, “Life is unfair.” 

Expanding on his perspective in a subsequent interview, he added, “We weren’t talking about that when he was winning his championships, right? 

“So, I don’t think we should now. That’s how Formula One works.”