(GMM) Former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul thinks Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s utter dominance of Formula 1 at present is even more impressive – and probably more lasting – than Mercedes’ similar dominance of the recent past.
This season’s performance has seen Red Bull setting an exemplary standard, one that Mercedes, with their recent struggles, have found elusive.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged their predicament in Brazil, where they contemplated a pitlane start to facilitate car adjustments, only to admit, “We just didn’t know what we would change.”
In stark contrast, Abiteboul’s commentary on Red Bull’s success highlighted the comprehensive nature of their dominance. Speaking to Franceinfo, he reflected, “The strength of Red Bull is that they are strong everywhere.” While Mercedes’ reign was marked by their exceptional engine, Red Bull, according to Abiteboul, excels in every aspect of the sport.
The Frenchman further explained that Red Bull’s achievement this year isn’t an isolated event but a continuation of a winning culture fostered since the early 2010s with Sebastian Vettel. “They are people used to winning, the reflexes are present. They have this winning attitude which makes its mark,” he said.
Highlighting the team’s strategic acumen, Abiteboul pointed out Red Bull’s foresight in halting their car development in July to focus on the next season – a move that didn’t seem to affect their relentless pace at all.
At the heart of Red Bull’s tour de force is Max Verstappen, whom Abiteboul regards as the “best driver of the moment.” Verstappen’s record-breaking spree and his capacity to drive the best car with unmatched prowess have caught Abiteboul’s eye. “It’s insolent,” he remarked on Verstappen’s ability to outperform and outlast his competitors, including his teammate Sergio Pérez.
Despite the seemingly one-sided nature of this year’s championship, Abiteboul offered a different perspective on the season’s intrigue. “For those who only focus on who wins, ‘it’s a boring season’, I say that underneath, it is particularly interesting,” he defended, pointing out that the battles beyond the podium still captivate the fans.
Looking forward, the big question remains whether this pattern will change into next season. Abiteboul predicts: “People would like me to say yes, but I don’t think so.”