2022 was certainly Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s year, as the team comfortably cruised to both championship titles in the first year under the new regulations in Formula 1.
Mercedes struggled to adapt to the major regulation changes that came into effect at the start of last year, leaving Red Bull unopposed for the majority of the season as Ferrari continued to shoot themselves in the foot with reliability issues and strategic blunders.
Verstappen won a record shattering 15 races over the course of the season, comfortably surpassing the previous record of 13 that was held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.
Some fans have questioned how good the Dutchman’s dominance is for F1, suggesting that the sport could become boring if the outcome of races it almost certain before lights out.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has come to Verstappen’s defence, claiming that the 2022 season did not seem boring at all, unlike previous spells of dominance in F1 such as Michael Schumacher’s reign during the early 2000’s.
“The racing was great [in 2022], while the season was absolutely dominated, it didn’t feel like a boring season at all,” Brown told RacingNews365.
“If I go back to when Schumacher dominated, the races were a yawner from the word go, whereas these were all exciting. They looked and felt a lot more exciting than the results look on paper.”
The new initiatives such as the budget cap that have been introduced by the FIA in recent season were brought into the sport with the aim of bring the grid closer together and making F1 more competitive.
While it may appear that the budget cap is not having the desired effect on the sport so far, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has explained why it may take some time for these changes to pay dividends.
The Haas boss explained that his team were not even able to reach the budget cap in 2022, meaning they were still outspent by the bigger teams, however he expects every team to reach the spending cap in 2023.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull will face the tough task of defending their titles this year with less testing time than their rivals, as wind tunnel hours are scaled down based on championship finishing positions, and Red Bull will see their allocation cut by a further ten percent as punishment for their breach of the 2021 cost cap.