Max Verstappen, Red Bull‘s star driver, is confident that their quick car gives them a realistic shot at an unbeaten season. However, examples of perfection in sports are rare, with only a few teams achieving such a feat. The Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in the NFL and Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ in the Premier League are among the few.
Red Bull has been downplaying the talk of an unbeaten year, acknowledging the difficulty of the task ahead. They have won 17 out of the last 18 races, with George Russell‘s win for Mercedes being the only blemish on their record. These dominant performances have given Red Bull a significant lead in the championship standings, reminiscent of the Miami Dolphins’ and Arsenal’s unbeaten seasons.
The margins of Red Bull‘s victories this year have been remarkable, often with large time gaps to the next non-Red Bull car. This dominance showcases the immense challenge that their rivals need to overcome to even compete with them on raw pace.
Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari are hoping to close the gap as the season progresses, but Red Bull‘s current advantage is undeniable. However, an undefeated season remains a lofty goal. McLaren‘s 1988 season, with drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, came close to perfection with 15 wins out of 16 races. Only a collision with a backmarker prevented them from achieving a perfect season.
Similarly, Mercedes came close in 2016, winning 19 out of 21 races, but two defeats at the hands of Red Bull prevented them from going unbeaten. Despite these near-misses, an unbeaten season remains an unrealistic expectation.
Even the fastest cars can encounter problems that lead to their downfall. Car reliability and collisions with other cars are significant factors that can disrupt races. Red Bull has shown impressive car reliability so far this season, but unforeseen incidents can still occur.
Verstappen has experienced collisions in the past, as seen in his clash with Esteban Ocon in 2019 and his battles with Lewis Hamilton in 2021. However, Red Bull‘s current dynamic between Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez suggests that such incidents are less likely this year. Ultimately, the consensus in the paddock is that Red Bull‘s car is capable of winning every race. However, whether they have the luck and consistency to achieve an unbeaten season remains to be seen.