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Start action, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23 leads
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Special feature

Why well-meaning ideas to ‘fix’ F1 may not be the answer

Domination by one team and driver inevitably causes mainstream interest in Formula 1 to sag. In the past it’s led to knee-jerk calls for change but quick fixes often come with unintended consequences. MATT KEW investigates which tweaks might improve the spectacle, and which ones might actively harm it despite all those good intentions…

The 2023 Formula 1 season was inescapably unspectacular. That was in no small part
thanks to Max Verstappen and Red Bull. The champion repeatedly snared pole position,
led into the first corner, then disappeared 20 seconds up the road to complete a damp squib. He humbled his runner-up team-mate Sergio Perez by 290 points. Meanwhile, second place in the constructors’ standings fell to Mercedes, which failed to muster even half the score of Christian Horner’s clan.

Amid that Red Bull monopoly, there’s reason to believe F1 is on its way down the popularity mountain. With the gripping climax to the 2021 Lewis Hamilton-Verstappen grudge match in the rear-view mirror, TV audience figures that the series readily shared when they were increasing are now no longer disclosed. Instead, social media interactions are the go-to measure of growth. However, recent third-party analysis – rebuffed by F1 – suggests these too are on the wane.

Previous article Why Russell’s toughest year in F1 hasn’t got him down
Next article The Red Bull clues thrown up from Andretti's F1's wind tunnel model

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