Hamilton's Dominance Was More Attractive Than Verstappen's Says Montoya

Friday, 14 June 2024 at 10:00
verstappenhamilton redbull rbcp4
Juan Pablo Montoya explained why he believes the period of Mercedes's dominance with Lewis Hamilton was more attractive to fans than the one of Red Bull with Max Verstappen.
Although the last few races make it seem like competitors have significantly caught up to Red Bull Racing with Max Verstappen, they have dominated the sport since the second half of the 2022 season.
In fact, we've had almost 40 Grand Prix race weekends since then, and 32 of these 40 were won by the triple World Champion, to whom nobody could step up.
Barton Crockett, senior research analyst for Rosenblatt Securities who covers Liberty Media, said last year that Verstappen looked like the biggest risk to the business of Formula 1.
In 2023, all the teams in F1 were more closely matched than perhaps ever before, yet fans generally thought races were boring because there was no competition for victory.
In his most recent interview for Formula 1 Magazine, Juan Pablo Montoya suggested it is similar to what it was with Mercedes but with one crucial detail that changes everything. Asked whether the supremacy of Verstappen is bad for the entertainment value of F1, he said:

"Oh, it's the same as when Lewis Hamilton won every race, while he still had a competitive teammate. Mercedes consciously chose to be competitive with both cars, Red Bull clearly has a different strategy."

"As a team, I can imagine that it provides peace internally - on a sporting level - but from a fan perspective, you most likely prefer Mercedes' approach."

In Verstappen's early years with the team, Red Bull seemed to try to find him a stronger teammate, replacing both Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly.
However, ever since the Austrian team put Sergio Perez in the second seat, they seem to have stopped looking around. Have they given up, or do they prefer having clear number one and number two driver? Montoya continued:

"At least then [during Mercedes's dominance], you still had battle and drama on the track between the two Mercedes. This way it is much more difficult and challenging to successfully run a team."

"At Mercedes, there was not a number one car or a number two car. They always managed to make both cars competitive, and the best proof is Nico Rosberg, who even became world champion alongside Lewis. And Valtteri Bottas has also won many races."