F1 business expert Mark Gallagher has hit out at a 'devastating' Formula 1 season in 2023, claiming that Max Verstappen's dominance is an issue.
Gallagher warned that the Dutchman's 19 wins from 22 races could play a worrying part in stopping new fans from being truly invested in the sport.
In recent years, Verstappen has completely dominated F1 with three consecutive world titles since 2021 and winning 19 out of a possible 22 races last season – with Red Bull winning all but one grand prix.
Gallagher : Drive to Survive 'democratises' F1
Appearing on the Flat Chat podcast, the former Jordan, Jaguar, Red Bull and Cosworth man Gallagher says that the Netflix series ‘democratises’ the sport by covering all 10 teams and 20 drivers equally across different episodes.
This, in his view, frustrates potential new fans when they tune in to watch the races and see one driver and team dominating, describing the 2023 season as ‘devastating’ for F1’s new supporters.
“I think [2023 was] quite devastating for Formula 1,” he said.
“Brilliant for Red Bull, but devastating for Formula 1 because here we are [reflecting] on Max’s 19th grand prix [win] of the season.
“And all of a sudden, those records that we used to talk about from McLaren, winning 15 out of 16 races in 1988, has just all completely been blown away.
“Fans around the periphery, fans who have been initially switched on to Formula 1, for those fans to then be converted into diehard, that’s the next step and it’s challenging.
“There have been a few commentators – even in America – talking about the fact that Formula 1 has built this crescendo, but there’s now a threat hanging over it because the dyed-in-the-wool fans, the fanbase who really understand Formula 1 and have followed it for years and years and years will stick with it through thick and thin.
“Whereas the more transitory fans who have come into perhaps in the last two years may just suddenly now start to find that it isn’t compelling enough to make them want to watch all the races and indeed, in this case, turn up to Miami, Austin, Las Vegas and actually buy some tickets.”
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