F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali says Red Bull’s enduring domination might erode the interest of “avid” fans of the sport but believes it’s of no importance to new followers.
Red Bull has had stronghold on the championship since the middle of last season and has so far proved invincible this year, with the Milton Keynes-based outfit winning the first three races of 2023.
As usual when a team or driver dominates the competition, there are warnings that fan interest may wane. But Domenicali believes the sport’s most recent enthusiasts will remain hooked.
“First of all, if a team is faster than the others, congratulations, they did a better job than the others,” Domenicali said in a call with F1 investors when asked if the FIA should intervene and rein in Red Bull’s hegemony.
“It’s the duty of FIA as the regulator to make sure that they check the compliance of the car with the regulations.
“If you look at the others, the other teams are very close, very, very close. I’m very confident that with the budget cap, the situation will evolve in the best way for the better competition.
“But on the other hand, there is one thing that is interesting to see, in the new markets, where the new audience is coming in, that is not a really important factor.
Read also: ‘Circuits can’t rely on history to save them’ – Domenicali
“It’s more let’s say for the avid fans that if you see a car that is dominant, that’s creating a level of less interest. For the new markets, for the new fans that are coming to the business, this is not really very important.
“And for us, it’s important because we want to make sure there is a great competition in the ecosystem.
“But I would say if I look today, in the markets where we are growing, this factor is not so relevant as you think. And this is, in a way, very interesting to share. But that’s the truth.”
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali with Saudi Arabian GP boss Martin Whitaker.
While Red Bull’s 2023 campaign is off to a flying start, Domenicali says it’s too early to declare the championship done and dusted, pointing to the team’s aero development restrictions resulting from its cost cap penalty as a factor that could weigh on the bulls’ future performance.
“For sure we see in the first three races Red Bull was very, very competitive,” commented the Italian. “I’m expecting the others to catch up.
“We need to wait and see the effect of the penalty that they had last year with the wind tunnel reduction. The championship is very long. And I think we’re going to have good surprises before the end.”
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei also highlighted the overall “excitement on the track” generated by the battles taking place behind Red Bull.
“”The history of F1 is that there have been teams that had to run, Red Bull had a run, Mercedes had a long run,” he said.
“But you look behind that we’re actually seeing more overtaking and more competition than ever.
“I think we can look statistically there has been more overtaking this year than in prior years. And I think you’ll see more of that.
“So there is excitement on the track. And as Stefano rightly points out, it’s three races, we’ll see how the year goes.”
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter
Click Here: kangaroos team merchandise