Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says Max Verstappen’s current dominance should be applauded, arguing “that this is part of the game” in the sport.
Having comfortably secured both championships with several rounds to spare last year, Red Bull’s comprehensive performance advantage has seen it win every single race to take place this year.
Including its victory at the 2022 finale in Abu Dhabi, the Austrian outfit has now won 13 consecutive races, beating McLaren’s previous all-time F1 record of 11 from 1988.
Amid Sergio Perez’s struggles in the sister RB19, Verstappen has prolonged Red Bull’s unbeaten run single-handedly by triumphing in the last eight rounds, bringing him to within one of Sebastian Vettel’s record.
While there have been complaints that the Dutchman’s success will turn people away from the sport, Domenicali insists his achievements should be celebrated.
“I would say, first of all, I think it’s the right moment to celebrate the incredible job that Verstappen is doing in that car,” he said in a recent call with Liberty Media investors.
“Because if you see the other car and where the others are in terms of gap it’s just incredible how Max is doing an incredible job.
“That has been always part of F1 and I would say that this is part of the game.
“I’m pretty sure that in the next couple of years, the technical gaps will be reduced. But if someone is great, we need to celebrate what they’re doing.
“And sometimes I have to say there is also the need to confirm the legacy of somebody who is doing some spectacular stuff.”
Domenicali also asserts that Verstappen is building a “legacy” for himself by coming out on top in several of the new markets that F1 has ventured to in previous years.
“In certain markets, mainly the new ones, you can see that he is also putting an incredible legacy because you know that it means something if you’re able to win so many races – that means you are really a great leader,” he explained.
“So there’s nothing negative in that respect. And if you look back, I would say this has been always part of F1 history.”
The 2023 F1 season will resume this weekend after the summer break with the third running of the Dutch Grand Prix since it returned to the calendar in 2021.
Verstappen is the only current driver to experience standing on the top step of the podium at the Zandvoort circuit, having won from pole in each of the last two years.
The reigning World Champion will be the heavy favourite to take his ninth successive victory on Sunday and extend his 125-point Drivers’ Championship lead over Perez.