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F1 in 2023 hasn’t been BORING - Hamilton vs Verstappen gave us unrealistic expectations

F1 in 2023 hasn’t been BORING - Hamilton vs Verstappen gave us unrealistic expectations

F1 News

F1 in 2023 hasn’t been BORING - Hamilton vs Verstappen gave us unrealistic expectations

F1 in 2023 hasn’t been BORING - Hamilton vs Verstappen gave us unrealistic expectations

A quick scroll on social media during a Formula 1 Grand Prix is likely to bring you one of two things.

First, you will find many users awestruck by the sheer pace of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the RB19 but also you are likely to find an ever-growing number complaining about the quality of the race.

The major charge is the races have been boring. Little action wheel-to-wheel action at the front has done little to satisfy the thirst of fans as Red Bull shoot off into the distance.

However, this is not a new phenomenon for F1. In fact, the sport has always been characterised by periods of dominance. One team tends to nail the ever-changing set of regulations leaving the rest of the competition in their wake.

McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes have all had periods where they were essentially untouchable. Yet it is these periods which we look back and remember most prominently despite the fact we may not have enjoyed them as much at the time.

Admittedly, the current period of Red Bull dominance feels a little different - but why? Perhaps the answer lies in the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2021.

READ MORE: Marko insists Hamilton NEEDS Ferrari switch to beat Verstappen

Hamilton vs Verstappen was too good

The 2021 season was completely atypical of what you would expect from a Formula 1 campaign. Two title protagonists, from two different teams, going head to head for race wins almost every week.

Lewis Hamilton's battle with Max Verstappen in 2021 was one of the best in F1 history

Hamilton and Verstappen were the perfect rivals too. The seven-time world champion held all the experience, the know-how, willing to play the percentages as he chased the title.

In contrast, Verstappen was still something of a young upstart. He was more willing to get his elbows out and had the bit between his teeth as he looked to finally prove why he had been long tipped to be a future world champion.

The duo were light years clear of the rest of the pack in terms of driving ability alone and seemed to push each other to greater and greater heights as the season progressed. They went wheel-to-wheel for the race lead in no fewer than 11 races and when one finished first, it was highly likely the other would be the next over the line.

It felt like there was a dramatic storyline every race. Hamilton and Verstappen collided at Silverstone, Monza, Interlagos and Jeddah as the tension built up to a crescendo for the infamously controversial last-lap battle in Abu Dhabi.

There was more to F1 in 2021 than just the title battle too. Who could forget the chaos in Sochi brought on by the late rain shower or the carnage in Hungary after Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll went bowling? These are hugely memorable moments that are likely to be permanently engrained in the minds of Formula 1 fans.

It is unlikely we will ever see a season like it again - and we are still suffering from the hangover.

READ MORE: Hamilton career praised as 'INSANE' by former Red Bull driver

F1 2023 has still given us moments

While the battle at the front has been pretty non-existent there have still been moments to get fans off their seats - moments we may be more appreciative of if Hamilton vs Verstappen had not set the bar so high.

Fernando Alonso’s charge through the pack at the season-opener in Bahrain was a throwback to his glory days. The Spaniard got past both Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton outside of the main overtaking spots demonstrating his racecraft was as good as it ever was.

Fernando Alonso has been a standout in F1 in 2023

There was the chaotic Australian Grand Prix too. The drama of the restarts was the kind that Formula 1 usually only sees once or twice a year even if the ending was somewhat farcical.

The Miami Grand Prix deserves more praise than it got too. There were a number of good battles for the midfield positions while there was some tactical intrigue between Verstappen and Perez at the front before the Dutchman eventually prevailed.

The 2023 Formula 1 season has not been a classic - but it's certainly not been boring.

READ MORE: Max Verstappen lesson all F1 champions-in-waiting can learn from

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