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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian GP

Red Bull's F1 rivals sense "duty" to fight back than moan about dominance

Red Bull’s Formula 1 rivals say their “duty” is to knuckle down and catch up to the runaway leaders, rather than moan about its dominance ruining the spectacle. 

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

With the pace of Red Bull’s RB19 appearing to be well clear of the rest of the field, the Milton Keynes-based squad already looks locked in to win this year’s championships. 

But the prospect of the title battle being over so early has prompted some to fear that a one-sided campaign could be a turn off for fans. 

Red Bull’s rivals do not see any grounds for complaints though about what Red Bull is doing, and say the responsibility lies with the team’s competition to simply do a better job. 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “I think we’ve had those years where we were as strong, but it’s a meritocracy, this sport. 

"Even if it’s not great for the show that the same guys win all the time, it’s because they’ve done a good job and we haven’t. We all hope for a good entertainment factor. But it’s our duty, with all we have, to catch up and fight these guys." 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz said he never understood why people got upset about a single team dominating, as it was only ever the result of someone having done a better job. 

"I've never been a fan of being concerned of one team dominating, because if they are, they've done such a good job," he said. "They deserve it.  

"I mean, I wish it was us. And then I would get really angry if people were concerned that we are dominating in Formula 1.  

"Unfortunately, this is a cars sport more than drivers. We know that makes a difference more, although Red Bull has a very strong line-up, usually.  

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"If a car is really good, all the other drivers cannot do much to stay in that fight. It's the nature of Formula 1. We've seen it in the past and it's nothing new."

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella agreed that Red Bull’s advantage in F1 meant simply that others need to lift their game. 

"It's not mind-blowing," he said. "For me, it's just the outcome of a team that has an edge in terms of knowledge, and in terms of transforming this knowledge into performance solutions. So well done to Red Bull.  

"When you look at the car, you see the sophistication. So, I think they deserve their success. It's up to us to do a better job and go and challenge them." 

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Wolff added that while the spectacle of single-team dominance was not ideal, equally eras of one team being ahead showed F1’s purity as a sporting competition. 

"We shouldn’t down talk it, because I remember hearing voices like that in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020," he said. 

"What makes the sport so special is that you need to work hard to win and you deserve it, as a matter of fact.

"Of course, we will try to do everything in our power to fight back, and we will look at areas of weakness that they may have. Entertainment follows sport, and that’s maybe not good from the commercial side, but it is what makes Formula 1 so special."

Additional reporting by Matt Kew and Adam Cooper

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