Dec.14 (GMM) Formula 1 might continue to be limited “fun” for observers next year because of Max Verstappen’s ongoing dominance.
That is the warning of former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who as an Italian admits he is rotting for Ferrari to put up a tougher challenge to Red Bull in 2024.
“We have to hope that they improve this winter to really become more competitive,” he told Italy’s Autosprint when asked about Ferrari.
“I hope for all Italians that Ferrari can at least compete, because winning a world championship will continue to be very difficult,” Briatore added.
“Let’s hope that a Frenchman can help Ferrari win again,” the Italian said, referring to the success of the Jean Todt-led Ferrari of the past.
However, 73-year-old takes nothing away from Verstappen and Red Bull’s absolute current domination of F1.
“They deserve it,” he insists. “The team is extremely strong and Verstappen is doing nothing wrong. He is an extraordinary driver. Max is really one with his car, especially as we consider that (Sergio) Perez has the same car.
“You really see the difference with this driver, who does extraordinary things.”
Briatore acknowledged, however, that Verstappen’s ongoing dominance is not necessarily good for F1.
“Unfortunately he has ruined the world championship a bit,” he said, “because from the first or second race you could already see that they were the strongest.
“I hope there will be a little more excitement next year, because otherwise it won’t be much fun.”
Another former F1 boss, Gian Carlo Minardi, shares Briatore’s fears about 2024.
“Everyone says yes, they will be reachable,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about Verstappan and Red Bull.
“But I would wait a while to say it. They have an advantage that I think is difficult to reach at the moment. Because by carefully analysing the races this year, I got the idea that Verstappen never allowed us to see the extent of his possibilities.
“And this doesn’t give us much hope,” Minardi added. “And then I get the news from England that their 2024 car is even better.”