Sky F1 commentator David Croft dismisses complaints about Formula 1 being boring and encourages fans to embrace the era dominated by Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
As the 2023 summer break begins, teams and drivers analyze their performance in the first half of the season, but it’s clear that the title race is effectively out of reach for those not affiliated with Red Bull or Verstappen.
Verstappen’s remarkable form is evident with 10 wins out of 12 grands prix, including an incredible eight consecutive victories. His teammate, Sergio Perez, added two more wins, leaving Red Bull undefeated going into the break.
Red Bull’s recent successes have broken records, surpassing McLaren’s longstanding win streak from 1988. The team’s dominance has led to a significant points gap, with Verstappen holding a commanding 125-point lead and Red Bull leading by 256 points.
While the Red Bull era showcases unparalleled excellence, some have raised concerns about the lack of competition in the title races, questioning the overall entertainment value of the season.
However, Croft maintains that the thrilling performances by Verstappen and Red Bull are worth appreciating and celebrating, urging fans to focus on the incredible feats on display rather than lamenting the lack of suspense in the title race.
Speaking alongside ex-F1 racer Karun Chandhok on the Sky F1 podcast, he said:
“All I would say is if you think the sight of cars going at 200 miles an hour plus, or doing 170 miles an hour through Maggotts and Becketts, or showing the most supreme engineering challenge, in the hands of some of the most talented human beings ever to grab hold of a steering wheel, where we’re at tracks where you’re millimetres away from ruining your afternoon for 70-odd laps in a race, if you think that’s boring, I can’t help you. I really can’t.
“It is so so easy to run with the herd here and say ‘oh it’s boring because Max keeps winning’. Why not marvel at the record? At the excellence, at the consistency and to be that good for so long.
“I couldn’t do it. Karun couldn’t do it. You know what it takes Karun to be that good and appreciate what we’re seeing, because we’re not going to see it forever.”
According to Chandhok, there have been tales emerging behind Red Bull, such as Aston Martin’s charge up the order, which has injected some excitement into the season, but he argues that, unlike in football and cricket, not every race can be a classic, and that has never been the case in Formula 1.
“Yeah, I agree, and look, there’s good stories up and down the field,” said Chandhok in response to Croft. “I think there’s been stuff going on.
“We started with all the stuff at Aston and their rejuvenation really at the start of the year and where they were. There’s stuff going on.
“I think you’d have to say there has been more boring races than others, but that’s been the case in Formula 1 since it started in 1950.
“You can’t have every football match, every cricket match going down to the last ball or the last minute, it’s just that is sport, not every match or race is going to be exciting to the end. But on the whole, I think we’ve had a decent season.”