In a sport that is no stranger to dynasties, it may come as a surprise to some that questions about “punishing” success have arisen. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently set the record straight, confirming that there are no plans to penalise Max Verstappen for his Formula One dominance.
Having already won the championshipip this season, the Dutch sensation is in a league of his own and the FIA President doesn’t see that as a problem.
String of dominant performances
Max Verstappen’s formidable reign over the past few seasons has been nothing short of impressive. The 26-year-old Red Bull Racing driver won 15 of the 22 Grands Prix last year to secure his second successive championship title. Verstappen has taken the chequered flag in first place in 14 of the 17 races this season, making it clear that he is the man to beat on the circuit.
No stranger to dominance
Ben Sulayem was keen to point out that F1 has seen such dominance before, referring to the eras of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
“It’s a bit harsh and not right to punish success,” he noted. The FIA President made it clear that penalising any team or driver for excellence on the track was off the table.
“I am open to suggestions if you think there is a way to be fair and democratic and not just punish Max and his team or any other team. But I’m stuck like you.There’s no way the FIA is going to punish success and it’s happened twice in my time,” said Ben Sulayem.
Masterstroke of engineering
Much of Verstappen’s recent success can be attributed to the rule changes that will come into effect at the end of the 2021 season, which will see F1 cars redesigned. Red Bull’s engineering team have capitalised on these changes to create a car that has given Verstappen and his teammate, Sergio Perez, a distinct advantage over their rivals.
Barring any further rule changes, Verstappen’s dominance looks set to continue.
A unique celebration
Verstappen clinched this season’s title in an unusual way. He secured second place in the Qatar Sprint the day before the Grand Prix. This allowed the Red Bull driver to celebrate his championship win before the weekend’s first race had even taken place, marking an unusual but exciting moment in Formula One history.
As the world watches Verstappen’s mastery on the track, discussions about limiting his success have become part of the public conversation.
However, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has firmly rejected these suggestions, insisting that excellence should be rewarded, not punished.
With Verstappen’s skill and Red Bull’s technical acumen, the duo look set to dominate for the foreseeable future, and according to the FIA, that’s the way it should be.
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