Cyril Abiteboul, the former Renault team principal, asserts that Red Bull’s current grip on Formula 1, with Max Verstappen at the helm, surpasses even that of Mercedes’ previous stronghold on the sport. “The strength of Red Bull is that they are strong everywhere,” Abiteboul expressed to Franceinfo, emphasizing that their prowess extends beyond just having an exceptional engine—a hallmark of Mercedes’ dominance.
Amidst Red Bull’s benchmark-setting season, Mercedes grapples with performance woes, highlighted during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff candidly admitted the team’s confusion over potential improvements: “We just didn’t know what we would change.”
In contrast to Mercedes’ quandary, Abiteboul marveled at Red Bull’s comprehensive mastery, rooted in a winning culture that dates back to Sebastian Vettel’s era. “They are people used to winning, the reflexes are present. They have this winning attitude which makes its mark,” he conveyed, recognizing the ingrained success mindset within the Red Bull team.
Strategic brilliance also plays a part in Red Bull’s triumphs, as Abiteboul lauds their decision to cease this season’s car development early, a testament to their long-term vision and current dominance.
Central to Red Bull’s sterling performance is Verstappen, hailed by Abiteboul as the “best driver of the moment.” His record-setting achievements and dominance over the grid, including his teammate, did not escape Abiteboul’s notice: “It’s insolent,” he said, admiring Verstappen’s sheer capability to outshine his peers consistently.
Abiteboul counters the notion of a monotonous season for those fixated on victory alone. “For those who only focus on who wins, ‘it’s a boring season’, I say that underneath, it is particularly interesting,” he argued, pointing to the intriguing battles that unfold behind the lead.
As the motorsport world ponders if Red Bull’s reign will extend into the next season, Abiteboul remains skeptical of a shift in the status quo, suggesting the continuity of their dominance: “People would like me to say yes, but I don’t think so.”