Formula One is no stranger to engineering excellence. It is the pinnacle of motorsport, a place where otherworldly machinery is pushed to its very limit. We should no longer be surprised by what humanity and technology working in tandem can achieve.
However, Red Bull Racing’s 2023 competitor, the RB19, has absolutely fried the system and blown past the boundaries of what appeared possible in this sport.
The word “dominance” can now be defined by a picture of Max Verstappen standing victorious atop his race-winning machine. Many F1 fans probably know the Dutch and Austrian anthems by heart by now, considering how frequently they have been played post-race this season.
“The RB19 is probably the best Formula One car that’s ever been created, which is a pretty impressive feat considering we’ve seen some special projects over the last few decades,” F1 correspondent and presenter Lawrence Barretto told CNN Sport. “It’s almost a complete car.
“It is that ideal combination of a great power unit and a great aerodynamic package.”
It’s not just the ridiculous lap times and vast winning margins that make this car exceptional – the ubiquitous sense of knowing exactly how a race weekend is going to go is not seen too often in this sport.
“It is not just the consistency of performance, but the consistency of how well it works across such a wide range of conditions, corner speed profiles and tracks,” F1 journalist Edd Straw said to CNN Sport. “It’s a car that just works pretty much everywhere.”
The stats don’t lie
Red Bull’s current driver lineup consists of the all-conquering Verstappen and 12-year F1 veteran Sergio Pérez. The pair sit first and second in the Driver Standings, with Verstappen winning his third world title on Saturday, and wrapped up the 2023 Constructors’ Championship at Suzuka with six races to spare.
A Red Bull driver has seen the checkered flag first at 15 out of the 16 races this season (Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was on the top step of the podium at the Singapore Grand Prix), with Verstappen winning 13 alone. He also won 10 races in a row from Miami in May to Monza in September, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive victories and could clinch a third world title this weekend in Qatar.
The team also has 10 fastest laps to its name and has won three sprint races so far, with Verstappen second in the sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Red Bull has somehow built upon its 2022 car, the RB18, which won 17 out of 22 races. Verstappen was in a record-breaking mood that year as well, taking 15 victories in a single season, eclipsing Vettel and Michael Schumacher’s 13.
The RB19 has subsequently been compared to some of the all-time greats in the sport, with Straw putting it in the same “ballpark” as Ferrari’s F2002, Mercedes’ W11 and McLaren’s MP4/4, which won 15 out of 16 races.