Former F1 champ criticizes Max Verstappen’s season for lack of Mercedes’ era dominance

Max Verstappen’s 2023 campaign has undeniably been extraordinary, marked by a remarkable winning streak and dominance in nearly every Grand Prix. The Dutch sensation has secured an impressive 19 out of 22 races, marking his name in Formula One history.

However, even amidst this stellar performance, F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has identified certain aspects where the triple-world champion may have had room for improvement in this season’s performances.

Jacques Villeneuve claims Verstappen’s 2023 triumphs are not perfect

The Red Bull driver secured the championship with an impressive 575 points, more than twice the tally of Sergio Perez. Despite the solid performance, former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve contends that the Red Bull’s dominance is not as ideal as it should be as the number one team on the grid.

In an exclusive interview with PlanetF1, Jacques said, “Red Bull is not that far ahead at all. All the poles they took were by one-tenth or half-a-tenth. Very close! That is not dominance. It doesn’t resemble the Mercedes years, where they were half a second ahead of everyone.”

Acknowledging that his perspective went back to the era where Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton reigned supreme, Jacques shared his take. In 2020 for instance, Hamilton clinched 10 pole positions out of 16 races, with teammate Valtteri Bottas securing five. The sole remaining position was claimed by Verstappen.

In contrast, the 2023 season saw Verstappen secure 12 poles out of 22 races, indicating a less overwhelming margin of dominance compared to Hamilton’s previous performances, which ultimately made the F1 champion doubt Verstappen’s skills on the track.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz denied Red Bull’s quest for a flawless season

On the other hand, despite Carlos Sainz’s victory in Singapore which denied Red Bull a perfect F1 season, Ferrari’s overall performance in 2023 saw them finish third in the standings, one place lower than their 2022 standing. In the previous season, Ferrari secured four wins and accumulated 148 points more than in 2023.

However, team boss Frederic Vasseur found encouragement in Ferrari’s improved second half of the campaign. During this period, they secured five of the final nine positions, one more than Red Bull. Remarkably, they came within three points of surpassing Mercedes in the standings, having been 56 points behind at the season’s midpoint.

Looking ahead, Ferrari has pledged significant changes for their 2024 car to dominate Red Bull and Mercedes in the upcoming season.

Do you think Verstappen’s dominance will remain stable in the upcoming season as well? Let us know in the comment section below.


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