Although Lewis Hamilton emphasizes that Red Bull’s supremacy will endure for an extended period, Red Bull Boss Christian Horner contends that their team has reached a saturation point, and moving forward, they will only experience diminishing returns.
This season, the Milton Keynes outfit has established unprecedented benchmarks, boasting significant achievements and breaking records. With victories in all Grand Prix races except one, it is no surprise they secured both the Constructors’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship.
The majority of the teams have not been successful in outpacing championship winner Max Verstappen in 2023, pointing to the probability that the Red Bull supremacy may last for a long time in the future.
The last two or three Grands Prix showed us how close Hamilton’s W14 and Lando Norris’s MCL60 got to Verstappen in the early stages of the race but, after a few laps, the latter could be seen pulling a clear lead of 5 seconds or more than Norris in P2.
Discussing the unfolding scenario, Hamilton provides valuable insights into his perspective on the future and whether there exists a possibility of Mercedes mounting a challenge against Red Bull in the near future. He conveyed to the media:
“I think, ultimately, all I can do is try to remain optimistic.
“The Red Bull I think is so far away. I think they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years.”
However, Horner has articulated that the team was entering a phase where their car’s concept was yielding diminishing returns, especially as the competition on the grid intensifies with each Grand Prix. When discussing the feedback he received from the wind tunnel regarding the 2024 car, he further elaborated:
“It’s always difficult to read too much into those things. I think that it’s a lot of world championships that are won in the wind tunnel numbers at this time of year.
“I think that we’ve got a great car, we’ve got a great basis. We need to keep evolving it, but of course, the returns are going to diminish because you’re hitting the top of the curve.
“And you can see it will concertina. It will become closer and that will stretch us more, for sure. But the team are very, very motivated. You can see nobody’s let off since we won the championship. Everybody’s still fully on it.”
Horner noted that the team put in significant effort to bounce back from their setbacks in Brazil last year, and their dedication paid off. He remarked:
“You have got to keep improving in all areas. I think leaving this race [in Brazil] last year hurt, in that our performance wasn’t as strong as we would have liked.
“We felt we didn’t get the set-up right. So we learned the lessons from last year and we applied them well, and focused a car on the race.
“In the end, we came away with a pole, the sprint win and the Grand Prix, with a third and the fourth for Checo [Perez], so it’s been a very strong weekend.”