After five races in the 2023 Formula 1 season, Red Bull Racing showed total domination each and every race weekend. With three wins for Max Verstappen and two for Checo Perez, the drivers’ championship looks set to be decided between the Milton Keynes-based team-mates, while the constructors’ championship will easily be added to the Austrian team’s trophy cabinet.
However, could the latest decision by the world’s leading motor racing category directly harms the Mexican driver in his fight to catch the two-time world champion?
Two way fight
Checo Perez and Max Verstappen will compete for the world championship trophy in the 2023 Formula 1 season with a very different car to the competition. Although the Dutch driver currently has the advantage, the Mexican driver had a chance to catch him at the sixth round of the calendar at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
However, unfortunately for the Mexican driver, the race in Imola had to be cancelled due to the intense storms that have been affecting the Italian region for several days. In that sense, the points from that race will remain without a winner and could be vital for the definition of the championship.
“Following discussions between Formula 1, the FIA President and the relevant authorities, the decision was taken not to continue with the Grand Prix weekend at Imola. It is not possible to hold the event safely for our fans, teams and staff and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation in the towns and cities of the region,” F1 said of the Imola race. As a result, Checo Perez will have to wait until the Monaco GP to try to take the lead in the standings.
Loss for Verstappen
Although Perez will lose the chance to close the gap to Verstappen with the cancellation of the Imola GP, ex senior Ferrari and Williams manager turned TV pundit, Peter Windsor, said it will affect the Dutchman more than the Spaniard.
According to the former team manager, the Enzo e Dino Ferrari racetrack was more suited to Supermax’s driving style, so he lost out on an assured victory.
“What is Max thinking, ‘One less race for him to win’? Absolutely, there’s no doubt it was more of a Max circuit than a Checo circuit, so it’s more of a loss for Verstappen. If these two guys are going to be very close in the points towards the end of the year, then Imola will be a race that Max will regret missing,” Windsor said on his YouTube channel.