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The Race F1 Podcast

Why is the Verstappen-Red Bull package so good - and who's best placed to stop them?

Mon Jul 17 2023
Formula OneRed BullMax VerstappenAston MartinMercedesFuture Outlook


Red Bull has been dominating Formula 1 with their RB19 car, thanks to its outstanding aerodynamic efficiency and Max Verstappen's exceptional driving skills. They have a strategic advantage over their competitors and are expected to continue their dominance in the future. However, there are challenges ahead, including new regulations and Max Verstappen's potential departure from Formula One. The landscape of Formula One is evolving, with teams like Aston Martin aiming to become elite without an engine partner.


Red Bull's Dominance

Red Bull's success in Formula 1 can be attributed to their outstanding aerodynamic efficiency and the exceptional driving skills of Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen's Role

Max Verstappen plays a significant role in Red Bull's success, with his aggressive driving style and ability to extract maximum performance from the car.

Strategic Advantage

Red Bull strategically manages races and puts pressure on their competitors, allowing them to dominate every weekend.

Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses

Different teams have had moments as Red Bull's best challenger, each with their own strengths and weaknesses in terms of drag and downforce trade-offs.

Future Outlook

Red Bull is expected to continue their dominance next season, but face challenges from Mercedes and Aston Martin in the long term.

Max Verstappen's Future

There is speculation about Max Verstappen's future in Formula One, with potential contract renegotiations or even a departure from the sport.


  1. Red Bull's Dominance in Formula 1
  2. Max Verstappen's Role in Red Bull's Success
  3. Red Bull's Strategic Advantage and Competitors
  4. Future Outlook and Challenges for Red Bull
  5. Max Verstappen's Future and Formula One Landscape

Red Bull's Dominance in Formula 1

00:02 - 13:38

  • Red Bull has been consistently successful in Formula 1 this season, dominating the races and leaving other teams behind.
  • The RB19 car has a significant advantage on race day, with an average lap time that is 7 tenths faster than its competitors.
  • The key to Red Bull's success lies in its outstanding aerodynamic efficiency, particularly in ground effect aerodynamics.
  • The RB19's underflow design is more complex and sophisticated compared to other cars, allowing for better performance at different speeds.
  • By having a higher tunnel roof from the ground, Red Bull can run a softer suspension setup and achieve better performance overall.
  • Red Bull's underflow generates more downforce and drag, resulting in a bigger boost from DRS (Drag Reduction System).
  • The aggressive lower beam wing and double kick in the diffuser may effectively stall the underbody when DRS is used.

Max Verstappen's Role in Red Bull's Success

07:00 - 20:43

  • Max Verstappen's race ability in the Red Bull has been present since the start of 2022, even when the car was heavier.
  • Verstappen's ability to ride curbs aggressively allows him to take shorter lines and go quicker than other cars.
  • Verstappen often pulls out pole positions, even with an extra set of tires in Q3.
  • Max Verstappen has the mental capacity to adapt quickly to changes in driving style, while others may struggle.
  • Red Bull benefits from Max Verstappen's driving skills, which play a significant role in extracting maximum performance from the car.
  • Red Bull has won 27 out of 32 races since the start of last year, with Verstappen winning six in a row.

Red Bull's Strategic Advantage and Competitors

20:14 - 34:03

  • Red Bull focuses on developing their well-conceived package rather than throwing big steps at the car like other teams.
  • Red Bull is more solid and reliable than Mercedes was at the start of the hybrid era.
  • Execution-wise, Red Bull strategically puts pressure on their competitors and manages races effectively.
  • Red Bull is currently dominating every weekend with Verstappen qualifying on pole and controlling the race from the front.
  • Different teams have had moments as Red Bull's best challenger this season, including Aston Martin, Mercedes, and Ferrari.
  • Each team has different strengths and weaknesses in terms of drag and downforce trade-offs.
  • Ferrari has low drag but on-off downforce at high speeds, making it sensitive to running in traffic.
  • Aston Martin has good downforce but more drag than Ferrari, which can be a disadvantage on tracks with high-speed corners.
  • Mercedes has good tire usage and front-end grip but lacks rear grip and traction. It is also draggy.
  • McLaren performs well in high-speed corners but struggles in low-speed corners. It also switches on its tires better than Mercedes.

Future Outlook and Challenges for Red Bull

27:08 - 40:30

  • Red Bull is expected to continue its dominance next season, although other teams may close the gap.
  • In the long term, it's a contest between Mercedes and Aston Martin as top contenders.
  • Red Bull's facility is impressive and they are likely to be competitive in the new era.
  • 2026 will bring seismic shifts in power units, creating potential for changes and challenges for teams.
  • Some teams, like Aston, recognize that having an engine partner is a weakness and hope to become an elite team with Honda.
  • Red Bull's aggressive recruitment has damaged Mercedes by taking away about 60% of their engineers.
  • The new regulations may shift the battleground to battery and fuel technology rather than the engine.

Max Verstappen's Future and Formula One Landscape

52:49 - 59:34

  • Max Verstappen's contract with Red Bull runs until 2028, but there may be clauses that allow him to renegotiate or leave earlier.
  • Verstappen is not a fan of the new sprint format in Formula One and sees it as gimmicks rather than pure sport.
  • He expressed his concerns about the rule changes for 2026, including worse racing, longer braking distances, and heavier cars.
  • Verstappen has achieved his goal of becoming a world champion and may now prioritize enjoying his job and exploring other racing categories.
  • There is speculation that he may leave Formula One at the end of the current formula in 2025 instead of completing his contract.
  • Verstappen's disillusionment with the direction of Formula One extends beyond technical changes to include the social media age and vacuous press conference questions.