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F1 champion questions ‘value’ of Verstappen’s titles

F1 champion questions ‘value’ of Verstappen’s titles

F1 champion questions ‘value’ of Verstappen’s titles

F1 champion questions ‘value’ of Verstappen’s titles

A Formula 1 legend has weighed in on Max Verstappen's recent dominance, and the impact it has on the sport's excitement.

Since regulation changes in 2022, Verstappen and Red Bull have been nearly unbeatable. The Dutchman's first championship win in 2021, though controversial due to Michael Masi's late-race call, marked his arrival at the top.

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2022 saw Red Bull secure their first constructors' title in nearly a decade, and Verstappen claimed his second championship with 15 wins from 22 races, 146 points clear of his nearest rival, Charles Leclerc, in the standings.

But 2023 was Verstappen's most dominant year yet, as he shattered records by winning a staggering 19 out of 22 races on his way to securing his third consecutive title.

The reigning champion also finished the season with a record 21 podium finishes and an impressive 575 points, more than double the points of his closest rival and team-mate, Sergio Perez - a feat that has never been achieved before in the history of the sport.

This year seems similar, with Red Bull currently leading the pack. However, a recent comment from a legendary figure in the sport has cast a shadow of debate over these victories.

READ MORE: Hamilton WARNED by Ferrari chief over performance levels

Red Bull are currently one-two in the drivers' standings
Max Verstappen is in quest to win a fourth consecutive drivers' title

Alain Prost opens up on Verstappen's dominance

This isn't the first time F1 has witnessed a dominant driver-team combination. But the landscape of the sport has changed significantly since the days of epic rivalries.

Four-time world champion Alain Prost, who is known for his legendary battles with Ayrton Senna, has spoken out about the current state of competition.

Asked by Sports Illustrated if he feels Verstappen's dominance is impacting the sport for fans, the F1 legend said:

"It's different. I mean the fight with Ayrton [Senna] was also because we were team-mates for two years and our rivalry went after our team-mate period, so it's very different.

"Today, the big teams are organized a little bit more like a number one driver, number two, especially with Max [Verstappen], for example, at Red Bull. So, it's a little bit different.

"But I still think that if you have a fight for a championship with two or three different teams, the value of the winning driver is always better. But, it's always a difficult thing because, for example, Max is one of the best drivers today. Maybe the best, you have to accept that.

"If you look at the perception that people can have - he’s winning because of this car, so in fact, it’s not as good for himself, which is a shame because I think he's really part of the success.

"But the big teams like Ferrari, like Mercedes, like Red Bull obviously, they are going to be more organized and have more chance to win if they have a number one driver, a favourite driver in the team. And then they concentrate on that. So it's a little bit of a shame at the moment, we do not have that," Prost continued.

"We did not have that as much, Ayrton started and Michael [Schumacher] and Lewis [Hamilton] and now it's Max. It's not always the decision of the driver, it's part of the game today. But again, if Ferrari can join the fight and maybe Mercedes later on or next year, it's going to be quite a nice fight.

"Especially with Ferrari, because Ferrari is a big name in Formula One. If they start to fight again for a title, especially with Lewis next year, it is going to be a big thing. Then social media is going to work well for sure."

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