The 2021 Formula 1 championship showdown is already considered one of the greatest battles in the sport's history, but the aftermath has seen some big shifts. The dominance of Verstappen and Red Bull has been complete, while Hamilton and Mercedes have suffered and the British driver is yet to taste another race victory.
The contrast in competitiveness between that 2021 season and the two following campaigns is staggering. It seems the fates of Red Bull and Mercedes have switched since the most recent regulation change.
However, four-time F1 champion Prost has claimed that Hamilton’s absence as a threat has allowed Verstappen to adapt his style to become more consistent.
“No, this Max disappeared after 2021, after that great fight with Lewis Hamilton.
“I won't talk about the controversial final in Abu Dhabi, but I will talk about the way he and his Red Bull came together during the fight with Mercedes all season. That first title made him stronger. Since then he has calmed down, except in his pursuit of perfection."
As rival teams continue to make gains on Red Bull throughout 2023, hope remains that a more open season lies in store for the future, however Prost doubts this. The Frenchman feels that Verstappen’s current level of consistent performance matched with Red Bull’s technical excellence makes any change at the top of F1 unlikely.
“It's a bad sign for the competition because it won't stop anytime soon," he continued. "The next two years without rule changes are not going to change much. And even from 2026 - because he and his team are very talented - they will rise to the challenge and at least compete for the title."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.