David Croft looks at “banana skins down the road” for F1 pacesetters Red Bull and whether they can win every race in 2023; listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now; watch Australian GP live on Sky Sports F1 between March 31 and April 2
Last Updated: 21/03/23 6:39pm
The Sky Sports F1 podcast team debate whether Red Bull will win all of the races this year. You can listen to the latest episode now.
Sky Sports F1’s David Croft feels there could be “banana skins down the road” for pacesetters Red Bull due to “friction” between reigning world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Red Bull have achieved one-two finishes in the opening two Grands Prix of the 2023 season, with Verstappen winning ahead of Perez in Bahrain and then coming second to the Mexican in Saudi Arabia despite starting the race in 15th place due to a driveshaft issue in qualifying.
Verstappen said he was “not happy” finishing runner-up in Jeddah, while Perez voiced his frustration at losing the bonus point for the fastest lap to his team-mate.
Highlights of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Croft told the Sky Sports F1 Podcast: “I am not sure everything is how [Red Bull Team Principal] Christian Horner would like it and how the team would like it for a smooth domination.
“They are dominating Formula 1 on the track but they came very close to not having that one-two in Bahrain and had issues [in the race in Saudi Arabia].
“In the cooldown room after the race, there was still friction between the two drivers. Checo [Perez] was not a happy man at being asked to do target lap times that were slower than his team-mate.
“Perez is in the last year of his contract and if there are no signs of another deal coming, what’s in it for Sergio to help his team-mate in the way Red Bull would like? I think there are a few banana skins down the road.
“As for Max’s dad, all is clearly now well in Jos Verstappen’s mind when his son finishes and leads the world championship, yet he can barely break a smile!”
Sky F1’s David Croft believes the other teams had undue influence in first demoting then reinstating Fernando Alonso to the podium in Saudi Arabia. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.
Will Red Bull win every race in 2023?
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said on Sunday that he had never seen a car as fast as the Red Bull but Croft does not believe Horner’s team will win all 23 races this term, saying they will be dented by their reduction of wind tunnel time for breaching the cost cap.
He said: “It is a big ask to win every single race. They won’t [do it] The other thing, of course, is that as the season goes on they get less wind tunnel time than certainly Aston Martin.
“The fact we’ve got an Aston Martin-Red Bull battle at the moment is brilliant because Aston Martin get 100 per cent of the time because they finished seventh in the Constructors’ Championship last year.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner praised Perez and Verstappen after his team’ one-two in Jeddah
“Red Bull get 70 per cent of the time, but because they were naughty boys and girls and overspent on the cost cap, they only get 63 per cent. That equates to about 120 wind tunnel runs in the course of an eight-week period.”
Asked about Red Bull’s dominance and if it is bad for the sport, Croft added: “Going into that race, talking to people in the paddock, nobody was saying they’re going to fight Max if he comes up behind them because everybody is saying, ‘Red Bull aren’t our race at the moment’.
“That does worry me a bit because the whole point of cost cap and then the wind tunnel and CFD restrictions was to close the competition so you weren’t going to get a team blasting by – as Max did with Lewis like an F2 car trying to defend against an F1 car. There was no fighting.”
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