In the round-up: Max Verstappen’s domination of the 2023 Formula 1 season is not negative for the championship, CEO Stefano Domenicali insists.
Domenicali says Verstappen’s performances should be celebrated
Verstappen could score a record-equalling ninth consecutive victory at his home race this weekend. Despite criticism over the one-sided nature of the competition in F1 this year, Domenicali believes the Red Bull drivers’ achievements should be celebrated.
“I would say, first of all, I think it’s the right moment to celebrate the incredible job that Verstappen is doing in that car,” he said in a recent call with Liberty Media investors. “Because if you see the other car and where the others are in terms of gap it’s just incredible how Max is doing an incredible job. That has been always part of F1 and I would say that this is part of the game.
“I’m pretty sure that in the next couple of years, the technical gaps will be reduced. But if someone is great, we need to celebrate what they’re doing. And sometimes I have to say there is also the need to confirm the legacy of somebody who is doing some spectacular stuff.”
His achievements have won him many supporters in some of the regions F1 has begun visiting in recent years, Domenicali added. “In certain markets, mainly the new ones, you can see that he is also putting an incredible legacy because you know that it means something if you’re able to win so many races – that means you are really a great leader.
“So there’s nothing negative in that respect. And if you look back, I would say this has been always part of F1 history.”
Tsunoda “not sure we will perform” at Zandvoort after Spa points
Yuki Tsunoda “was happy with how the first part of the season ended in Belgium” as he ended a run of seven grands prix without points.
Following the summer break, Tsunoda is not full of confidence of scoring again as he heads to the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend. Although he likes the complexity of the Zandvoort track and reached Q3 there last year in his AlphaTauri, he has never finished a race there.
“I’m not sure how we will perform here because even if Spa went well, much of that was down to the specific nature of the track and even the weather, while Zandvoort is very different – a medium to high-downforce circuit – but hopefully we can have another good race there,” he said.
“Because the track is very narrow, our main focus will be on qualifying well, which is something we have struggled with a bit so far this season. Let’s wait and see how it goes.”
Malukas doesn’t expect to repeat breakthrough IndyCar podium at Gateway
IndyCar heads to the Gateway oval this weekend, where Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports’ David Malukas claimed a breakthrough podium in his rookie season last year and also took two wins there in Indy Nxt. But he’s not expecting to repeat that feat on his return to the track.
“I mean, of course a podium would be obviously incredible if we can match the performance that we had last year, but from a realistic standpoint, if we come off with a top-ten finish, I’ll still be very happy,” he said.
“I think a top 10 finish is where our car is kind of at when it comes to short ovals. Penskes have been insane this year when it comes to them. If we could somehow reel it in and maybe get them with a tyre strategy and maybe we do something that nobody else thought of with the alternates and we can get in that podium position. But a top-10 finish, I would be very happy.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 20 years ago today Fernando Alonso scored his first F1 victory at the Hungaroring