Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull Racing could have dominated Formula 1 much like the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has done since 2014 if the engine regulations had not changed to the V6 turbo hybrid era.
Ever since the engine regulations changed, Mercedes have been the dominant force in Formula 1, with seven consecutive World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship triumphs. Lewis Hamilton has won six of those crowns, while Nico Rosberg took his lone title in 2016 being retiring from the sport.
Verstappen has often been the sole driver to be able to take the fight to Mercedes in the past couple of seasons, with the Dutchman ending only nine points behind Valtteri Bottas in the Drivers’ standings in 2020 despite failing to finish five times across the year. However, the Dutchman says Mercedes have been aided by having the best power unit on the grid.
“To be honest with you, I think if at the end of 2013, if the regulations wouldn’t have changed, I think Red Bull could have done the same, you know, if the V6 wasn’t introduced,” said Verstappen to Motorsport.com.
“It’s just, I think in a way, it came perfect for them. Of course, you know, the V6 era, they prepared very early on, and they were well equipped with a good power unit from the start. And that, of course, initially I think, really helped them a lot.”
Verstappen knows it is not purely the engine that has helped Mercedes take all seven available titles in the turbo hybrid era, with the Dutchman acknowledging the German marque has also done well with its chassis design.
“I think they made their car very fast,” he said. “And, with a good top speed, everything, of course, looks already a lot better.
“But for sure [in 2020], they also had an amazing car. You can’t get around that.”