George Russell’s F1 bet coming true would recreate Schumacher boredom
It would be an unprecedented scenario if George Russell’s premonition that Red Bull will win “every single race” this year comes true and something that would likely be terrible for the sport – just as it was 19 years ago for the 2004 campaign. Red Bull already look unbeatable for the 2023 season after Max Verstappen eased to victory in an otherwise uneventful Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez was being closely challenged by Charles Leclerc, before Ferrari’s reliability issues came back to haunt him once again. Aston Martin appear to be Red Bull’s closest rivals at the moment – and Fernando Alonso still finished almost 40 seconds behind the race winner.
That’s unlikely to be the case for most of the season, but it’s not hard to see why Russell believes Red Bull have this championship already “sewn up”. “I don’t think anyone will be fighting with them this year,” he said.
“They should win every single race this year, is my bet.” One team dominating a full season is hardly new in F1 with Mercedes only just having their record run of eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships ended.
And it was only last year that Verstappen won a record-breaking 15 races – including nine of the last 11 – for the most Grand Prix wins in a calendar year. While seeing drivers perform at an elite level such as the performance Verstappen displayed last year, trying to package it as entertainment is a hard task.
That was never more evident than in the 2004 season when Michael Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races with Ferrari only missing out on the top spot in three Grands Prix all year. Despite being regarded as one of Schumacher’s greatest achievements, it became a drab affair to watch the red Ferrari racing clear of the rest of the field with ease.
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The same can be said for some of Lewis Hamilton’s titles, with championships wrapped up long before the season finale. The 2021 season was seemingly the exception to the rule in a pulsating contest between Verstappen and Hamilton right up until the last lap of the year.
That’s exactly what F1’s new regulations have been brought in to encourage, but they’re meaningless if one team holds all the cards throughout the year. It’s only one race into the 2023 season though and Christian Horner has rightfully pointed out how long the year is now with 23 Grands Prix and things can change quickly in F1.
But Russell’s premonition will strike fear into every F1 fan hoping to see close contests every week. And it will hardly be a great advert for the sport if the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin fail to catch up with Red Bull.
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