Formula One

F1 Red Bull 2023 Mid-Season Analysis – One-sided dominance and record-chasing

The Red Bull 2023 Mid-Season Analysis highlights the team's dominance this season.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Red Bull has been the dominant force in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship and is on a historic run of form, having won the first twelve races of the season, which is a record. The Red Bull 2023 mid-season analysis just highlights how dominant the team has been this season

A summary of an impressive display

With ten wins for Max Verstappen and an additional two from Sergio Perez, Red Bull is on its way to claiming its second double in a row, after another dominant campaign in 2022. That alone is enough to show how fast the RB19 has been this season, in comparison to the rest of the field.

The team’s all-around dominance

While Ferrari and Mercedes have managed to beat Red Bull one time each in qualifying, but it is in race conditions where the Austrian manufacturer is unbeatable. The gap is still pretty big, as demonstrated by Max Verstappen on multiple occasions, such as the Hungarian Grand Prix, which he won by 33 seconds to the rest of the field.

And it is not only the car’s speed that has helped Red Bull be on top. The team maintains a 100% finishing rate with both cars, as the Honda powertrain keeps performing reliably. Strategy has been on point for the whole season, along with the pitstops of the crew.

Sergio Perez struggling

Red Bull’s only significant trouble so far this season is the consistency of Sergio Perez. The Mexican helped the team complete four 1-2 finishes in the first five races, but his form took a dip since then. The main source of the issues is undoubtedly his qualifying form, as he failed to get promoted into Q3 for five consecutive races.

That was either due to driving mistakes, such as crashing during Q1 in Monaco or going beyond track limits in Austria, or a lack of speed in crucial moments, like the changeable conditions at Canada and Great Britain. The issue needs to be resolved, especially if Perez wants to avoid any chances of getting replaced for next season.

The dominance of Max Verstappen

On the other hand, Max Verstappen has been impeccable. With ten victories in Grands Prix and two in Sprints, he is yet to finish below second place this season. His only issues have come in qualifying, like a gearbox failure in Jeddah, getting caught out by red flags during Q3 in Miami and a grid penalty in Spa-Francorchamps.

But he has been able to rise above it all. His win from ninth in Miami was an impressive display, one that included him lapping faster than his teammate on much older tyres before his stop, which put him in place to win that race. That was the start of an eight-race win streak, which is still ongoing.

So dominant has been Verstappen, that his haul of 314 points so far is more than enough to outscore Mercedes, who are second in the constructors’ championship, by 67 points.

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Photo by Hoch Zwei / Icon Sport

The teammate comparison: A one-man show

Verstappen’s dominance is obvious to the naked eye, but a look at the season so far reveals its extent. He has not lost to Perez in any session, be it qualifying, a sprint, or a race, since the qualifying session for the Miami Grand Prix back in May.

In fact, up to that point, the battle between them was somewhat close. Perez won in Jeddah and prevailed in Baku, where he won both the Sprint and the Grand Prix. He was somewhat set back by a last-place start in Melbourne, which led to a fifth-place finish, but heading to Miami the gap was just six points.

Ever since that, with Perez not only losing to Verstappen, but finishing second on just one occasion, the gap has grown to 125 points. At least he has been able to maintain second in the standings, with a gap of forty points to Fernando Alonso.

The future for Red Bull

The goals for Red Bull are pretty clear. Neither the drivers’ nor the constructors’ championships are under threat, therefore the attention will divert to other goals. Namely, those are the records that might fall.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Chasing records in 2023

For Max Verstappen, one that could be tied as soon as the next race, at Zandvoort, is the one for most consecutive wins. It is currently held by Sebastian Vettel, who scored nine in a row in 2013, for the same team. Last season, Verstappen set a new records of fifteen wins in a season and that will possibly be beaten as well.

One of the tougher records is the one for the higher percentage of wins. He will need seventeen to pass Alberto Ascari’s record, who won six out of eight races in 1952.

In regards to the records that can be broken by Red Bull, perhaps the most significant achievement would be to win every single race of the campaign, something unprecedented in Formula 1 history. McLaren has come closest to it, with fifteen wins from sixteen races in 1988.

The record for most wins in a season belongs to Mercedes, which won nineteen races back in 2016. Red Bull’s best performance so far came last year, with seventeen wins. The most competitive wins record has already been taken and is currently at thirteen, with last season’s finale added to this season’s twelve races.

2024 and beyond

One big, and more serious, matter to be resolved is of course the performance of Sergio Perez. It needs to be improved with immediate effect, as Red Bull and Helmut Marko are notoriously demanding when it comes to the performance of their drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Formula 1 with Alpha Tauri cannot be overlooked and it could be an indication of Red Bull’s future plans. Perez has a contract for next season as well, but nothing can be ruled out, especially if the Australian returns to his old form.

With such a gap to the rest of the field, Red Bull could switch focus and resources to their 2024 car, so the upgrade package brought ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix could be the last big upgrade of this season.

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