Despite a strong 2022 season, Formula One world champion claims Red Bull still doesn’t dominate the sport the way Mercedes has over the past eight years.
With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg winning drivers’ championships, Mercedes took control of the sport in the modern hybrid era and seemed completely untouchable for quite some time.
Nevertheless, Mercedes won the Constructors’ Championship in 2021, although Hamilton was denied the title; the difference was only 28 points, and the decision was made in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes has dropped to third in the standings this year as Red Bull has won the championship by 205 points over Ferrari. Max Verstappen won a total of 15 races, while Sergio Verstappen won two more in Monaco and Singapore.
Despite these numbers, Hill doesn’t believe Red Bull can match Mercedes’ dominance of Formula One at its best.
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In response to a meeting he had with Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, Hill told Sky Sports F1, “It’s not quite as dominant.
“I was talking with Andrew Shovlin about this,” he continued. “[Red Bull’s] dominance is not quite as dominant as Mercedes’ shift to the hybrid era.
“They were so dominant, they had to kind of underplay it a little bit because otherwise people would have ganged up on them.
“But with Red Bull, you see at the end of the [Abu Dhabi GP] that Ferrari wasn’t too far away from them.
“We don’t know how much more they had in hand, but they were pretty close to Red Bull,” Hill argued. “And also of course in Brazil, you had Mercedes being competitive in a different set of circumstances.”
It remains to be seen whether Red Bull and Max Verstappen can maintain their momentum in 2023 and stay ahead of the competition, or whether it will be much tighter, even though they got better and better toward the end of the season.
This season, Mercedes’ biggest problem was porpoising, which plagued the W13 in the first half of the season and caused excessive drag in the later races.
Meanwhile, Ferrari had a strong start to the season, after scoring two race wins in the first three races which led many to believe that the championship had already been decided.
Over the winter break, all three of the leading teams will make a major effort to improve their cars for 2023. Ferrari believes the hiring of former Sauber CEO Frédéric Vasseur will provide a fresh start at Maranello.