Max Verstappen finally said what everyone has been trumpeting so far this Formula 1 season, that he and Red Bull are utterly dominating the sport.
Verstappen’s and Red Bull’s rivals are hopeless trying to find a way to close the gap to them, not even daring to dream they could beat them, not on a regular basis that is.
As while the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Champions and their soon to be triple F1 Champion driver tripped quite badly in Singapore, that turned out to be a track-specific blip.
Verstappen’s dominant pole at Suzuka followed by a win by almost 20 seconds was a rude awakening to Red Bull’s rivals who were miserably dreaming that their reign could be coming to an end following Singapore.
As a result Verstappen was clearly on mission in Japan to reinforce his authority over the grid, and he did so in style.
Speaking in Red Bull’s Japanese Grand Prix debrief, Verstappen said: “What an incredible weekend! It’s been a massive Team effort, there are a lot of people involved in getting us to where we are today.
“You only really see very few people here at track, there are lots of people working tirelessly at the factory to make sure we are always performing at our highest.
“What we are showing this year is pure dominance, we can all be extremely proud,” the Dutchman declared. “It was an amazing feeling to see the Team celebrating in the garage on the track TVs during my in-lap.
“We’re definitely enjoying it but we won’t take anything for granted,” he concluded.
A different story in the #11 Red Bull RB19
On the other hand, and in the sister Red Bull, Sergio Perez had another nightmare of a race, in the thick of carbon fiber shattering fights, going through a couple of front wings and slapped with two penalties until he ended his race with a clumsy move on Kevin Magnussen, damaging his front suspension.
He only returned to the track in the final few laps to serve the second penalty (he retired before he did) to avoid serving it in the next race in Qatar, a shrewd move by Red Bull.
In the end the Mexican had to go through the humiliation of his team clinching their sixth F1 Constructors’ Title without him even contributing in the points.
He said: “It would have been nice to clinch the Championship in a different way but it has been an incredible year and I am so happy for the Team today.
“My race ended up not being straightforward at all; we had a poor start and everything went downhill from there unfortunately. The collisions caused too much damage so we brought the car in to assess.
“After fixing the car we then had a penalty to serve, which we did, and then brought the car in. Despite this, it has been a really great day for the whole team and to finally get that title is really special.
“I am proud of each and every single one of the team; they have done a really tremendous job,” Perez concluded.