Red Bull could win every race this season but are unlikely to do so, Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The dominant F1 world champions have won all six rounds to date, four of them in one-two formation and all, with the exception of Australia finished behind the safety car, by considerable margins. Including last year, they have won seven races in a row and 15 of the last 17.
“How it looks like at the moment, I think we can, but that’s very unlikely to happen,” double F1 world champion Verstappen, who has won four of the six, said at the Circuit de Catalunya where he took his first win in 2016.
“There are always things that go wrong or you have a retirement or whatever. Purely on pace, at the moment it looks like that but we will always get to tracks where maybe it doesn’t work out exactly or whatever. Bad luck in qualifying, you make your own mistakes.”
No team since the early 1950s has managed a clean sweep of a season. McLaren, with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, won all but one Grand Prix in 1988 but Austrian Gerhard Berger denied them the 100% record with victory at Monza for Ferrari weeks after the death of team founder Enzo.
Both Red Bull drivers had a retirement for mechanical failure in 2022
Mercedes at the height of their F1 dominance between 2014-21 lost some every year, with a best of 19 out of 21 in 2016, while Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari were similarly unable to keep others off the top of the podium.
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez failed to score a point in the last race in Monaco won by the Dutch driver. Both Red Bull drivers had a retirement for mechanical failure in 2022.
“It’s a very long championship, you need to be very consistent,” said Verstappen, who is 39 points clear of Perez and has yet to finish lower than second. “At the moment it looks like best case you win, worst case you’re second.”
Mercedes’ George Russell, sitting alongside Verstappen in the press conference, said Red Bull had the potential to win every race on pure pace but agreed events could get in the way: “I’d like to think we’ll be able to fight at some point and take advantage of some misfortune.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)