Naomi Schiff believes Formula 1 could be heading into a ‘Red Bull era’ of dominance after the team’s latest improvements.
We have seen it before — most recently with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s dominance, followed closely behind Valtteri Bottas — but the 2021 season brought hope that more competitive seasons were on the horizon.
Max Verstappen denied Hamilton his eighth World Championship by just eight points two years ago in what was a truly thrilling season.
The Dutch driver then went on to dominate in 2022, despite many tipping another tense two-way battle between him and Hamilton.
In fact, Verstappen wrapped up the title at the Japanese Grand Prix, with four races left on the calendar.
Is this the start of an unstoppable reign for Red Bull?
Red Bull constantly improving
So far this year, it still looks very much like Red Bull are the team to beat.
They locked out the first row on the Bahrain grid after qualifying saw Verstappen take pole with Sergio Pérez just behind him.
Recent improvements on the cars could already spell serious trouble for the other drivers this year.
“Mercedes dominated in the previous regulation change era, and it looks like Red Bull absolutely nailed it last year with this huge new regulation change,” Schiff told GIVEMESPORT.
“They’ve obviously developed a car that’s incredible, and being able to walk into the second season with that much dominance and that much of a gap to the rest of the field is momentum that is incredibly valuable.”
Already, the new RB19 has had some promising feedback from both Verstappen and Pérez.
The reigning champion believes it is “100 percent” better than last year and Checo is also feeling confident that the car is catering to both drivers’ strengths.
“I think we have a better understanding of the car, we have a better package,” he said.
“I did feel very comfortable with it through testing. So we will see. I think we have a really good base for all of us.”
Who can compete with Red Bull?
Of course, there is an entire season laid out in front of us, and it is never F1 without a course of shocks and upsets along the way.
In another interview with GIVEMESPORT, Schiff predicted Pérez to be Verstappen’s biggest threat this season.
Realistically, absolutely anything can happen to blow the title race wide open. But assuming Red Bull will be in perfect form, Schiff hopes there will at least be some competition from other teams, despite the tough task to play catch up.
“All the teams can go back to their factories and further develop a car and come up with evolutions of their car, but Red Bull will be doing the same thing,” she said.
“Every time someone improves, Red Bull are also continuously improving, so it’s going to be really tough to catch them.
“But I do have faith that at least Ferrari and Mercedes will close that gap. Hopefully we won’t have to wait as long as we did last year for them to get a little closer.
“We want to see a battle on our hands with more than just one team with two teammates against each other. I’m worried that we’re walking into an era where this is just Red Bull’s time.”