Max Verstappen leads the pack at the Canadian Grand Prix. is F1 boring becasue of him

Is This The Most Boring F1 Season Ever?

Fans are questioning whether this is the most boring season of Formula 1 ever, and it isn’t hard to see why. Red Bull have won every race bar one so far – 14 races at the time of writing – and can seal the Constructors’ Title this weekend in Japan, whilst Max Verstappen could win the Drivers’ Title in 2 weeks’ time in Qatar. If he does, it will be the second the earliest wrapping up of a Drivers’ Championship ever – doing so with 5 races to go in the season. Michael Schumacher won the title with 6 races to go back in 2002, a record Verstappen could have equalled last weekend in Singapore if it weren’t for Red Bull’s uncharacteristic horror show.

Is F1 boring right now?

It would seem so, given Red Bull’s and Verstappen’s dominance. There have also been suggestions throughout the season that Red Bull are “sandbagging” – hiding their true pace – which adds to the aura of their dominance and, if true, would quash any competition at the front of the grid if some of the other teams did manage to improve. However, there is excitement to be found elsewhere – throughout the field in fact.

Mercedes are currently ahead of Ferrari in the battle for second place in the Constructors’ Championship, but with 7 races remaining, the “honour” of finishing best of the rest, and the additional prize money that comes with it, is still very much up for grabs, with only 24 points separating the 2 teams.

Back in the midfield, McLaren’s recent resurgence after a terrible start to the season has seen them sneak ahead of Alpine in the race for fifth place (139 points vs 81 points), whilst Williams (21 points), Haas (12), Alfa Romeo (10) and Alpha Tauri (5) are locked in a battle for seventh to tenth – but make no mistake, the additional winnings that come from finishing higher up the table come the end of the season can make a real difference going forward to these smaller teams, so this should be a fierce battle right to the death.

In the Drivers’ Championship, third place looks set to be a straight fight between old teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, who are currently separated by just 10 points. Meanwhile, fifth place will be contested by the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, and Mercedes’ George Russell, with 33 points between the trio at present.

Furthermore, races have also proved competitive and exciting behind the Red Bulls of late, with Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alpine, McLaren and Mercedes all scoring podium finishes in the last 6 races – the main course may consistently give you wings, but at least we are getting some different side dishes to enjoy!

With Red Bull fully in charge of the current era of the sport, which started in 2022 when a new set of regulations designed to produce closer and more competitive racing came into force, a vicious cycle is at risk of emerging. The Milton Keynes-based team have an advantage over their competitors, and wrapping up the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Titles early in the season allows them to focus development work on next season’s car, helping them to maintain their advantage. If the aforementioned “sandbagging” is also true, it appears that, unfortunately, there will be no change to the status quo at the front of the pack for the foreseeable future.

When did F1 become boring?

Maybe it has always been boring. At least more often than not. Formula 1’s history is littered with periods of teams dominating, especially in recent decades.
Mercedes won 8 Constructors’ Championships in a row between 2014 and 2021, following a 4 year spell where Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel reigned supreme. Michael Schumacher and Ferrari infamously dominated with 5 consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004 (with Ferrari also winning in 1999). Williams also enjoyed a period of prolonged success, lifting 5 championships in the 6 years spanning 1992 to 1997.
Still, all those eras have seen closer title battles, whether it be with rival teams or between teammates. This season, Sergio Perez, bar the first few races, has been nowhere near Max Verstappen, which has added to the lack of excitement surrounding the 2023 championships. At the front of the grid, it may never have been boring to quite this degree.

Is Verstappen bored of F1?

Given his dominance last season, and his continued and further superiority this season, there has been speculation that Max Verstappen may not stick around in F1 much longer and instead look for challenges elsewhere within motorsport.

The Dutchman is contracted to race with Red Bull until 2028, and, with the team’s dominance expected to continue for the foreseeable future, as he continues to win more races and more titles, fans will speculate that he will no doubt have his eyes set on some of Lewis Hamilton’s records, as well as winning more Drivers’ Titles than any other driver (the current most is 7, a record jointly held by Schumacher and Hamilton). Even if the man himself has cast doubt over his longevity in the sport, citing motivation, family and outside interests as three potentially important factors:

“Some people love racing because that’s the only thing they do, really. For me, I love racing, I still do, but I also want to do other things and not only Formula 1 at some stage.”

“Of course I know that this is the pinnacle and the highest you can achieve, but you also set a bit of a different perspective. Now that I’ve won two titles, if I wouldn’t have won them, you keep on trying—you keep trying to achieve something like that. Now that I’ve done so, it’s nice and it’s nice to win another one and another one, but basically, it’s the same thing. It’s not something that will keep me here forever.”

“It’s more about if I can motivate myself every single year to the fullest to be here because with the race calendar being so long, you’re away from family and friends a lot as well.”

“I find that at what point what is more important: is it winning races and being away from them or is it actually being at home and spending time with those dearest and closest to you in a time in your life when you’re fully fit, very active and you can still do anything you want?”

He has also suggested he may not race until his later years, like some of the current stalwarts and previous champions, Alonso and Hamilton to name two, are doing:

“Maybe if you look back at it and if you stayed in F1 until you’re 40 or whatever, it might be that you were like ‘Maybe I stayed too long and didn’t spend enough time with my close ones,’ so it’s still something that’s a big question mark for me and how long I will stay in the sport.”

Verstappen is still quite young, so it is slightly concerning for fans of F1 to hear him talking in this way. Maybe, like Nico Rosberg, he’ll have a relatively short lifespan as a top driver, or maybe he just needs more competition if he is to remain behind the wheel. The latter certainly wouldn’t do the sport any harm.

What would make Formula 1 more exciting?

A combination of things, in my opinion. A fairer distribution of prize money would allow for more equal spending on development, which would result in closer performance across teams. A set number of reverse grid races, randomly implemented by the public after qualifying to prevent teams from “tanking”, would certainly spice things up. Back in the day, there were more variables in races too, like different tyre manufacturers and refuelling – these naturally made races less predictable and more exciting. But working out how to reintroduce more variables, whilst not faltering on the environmental progress and commitments made by the sport, is a tricky puzzle to solve.

So, is this the most boring F1 season ever?

It may feel like it, given the procession that occurs race after race at the front of the grid, although it really depends on how much you like racing and what you are looking for. A title fight? This certainly isn’t a season you’re going to enjoy. But elsewhere, battles are to be found aplenty for the F1 enthusiasts.