Ex-Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert believes that only the introduction of the new power unit regulations in 2026 “might stop” Max Verstappen, whose dominance looks set to last for at least two more seasons.
Since the new aerodynamic regulations were introduced at the start of 2022, Verstappen and Red Bull have been superior.
Ferrari managed to compete with the Austrians for part of last year, only to fall off in the latter stages.
As for 2023, no team has consistently been able to take the fight to Red Bull, allowing Verstappen to clear off into the distance.
Verstappen’s 2023 campaign is officially the most dominant in the history of Formula 1, as his 19 wins from the 22 completed races meant that he was victorious in 86.4% of the events.
The previous record of 75% had been held by Alberto Ascari since 1952, only for the Dutchman to surpass it by some margin.
On his way to becoming a three-time World Champion, Verstappen also broke Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record for nine wins in a row, as he managed to win 10 races consecutively.
Unsurprisingly, given his staggering number of race wins this year, the 26-year-old also broke the record for most points scored.
He had already broken this in 2022, although his 2023 tally of 575 points is 121 points more than he managed in the first season of the new regs.
Verstappen simply reigns supreme currently and will likely continue his dominance next season, although Herbert does think it’ll be slightly closer.
This is because of McLaren’s rapid progress in the second half of the recently completed campaign, where they took the fight to Red Bull on several occasions.
“The only thing that might stop his domination is the rule changes coming in in 2026,” Herbert told Lucky Block.
“Red Bull are starting to come under pressure from other teams. Everybody is getting closer. Let’s hope by the start of next season we will have a battle royal.
“The positive thing for race fans is that McLaren have been able to do what they’ve done. We will have a much closer pack.
“Max is not going to have the same domination next year. He is going to have to work at it.”