It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone following Formula 1 this year to know that Red Bull Racing took the Constructor’s Championship trophy, but how did the other teams end up?
Some of the positions were decided well before the final race in Abu Dhabi, but other than Red Bull in first and Alpine in 6th, the other positions were all still a fight for the teams seeking to claim them.
This article will touch on the various teams and their positions, and we will talk a little bit about the unbridled dominance of Max Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing team and what that might mean for the sport as a whole.
As mentioned, Red Bull Racing is the clear winner, with a staggering 21 victories and 860 points across the season, with their closest rivals having a combined total that is equal to less than half the points and only a single victory to their names. But who are those two runners-up? Sitting in second and third place respectively are Mercedes and Ferrari. Following them in fourth is McLaren, with Aston Martin in fifth.
After Alpine in sixth, we have in order; Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo Racing and Haas. The fights for second and fourth place were particularly hotly contested by the teams placed to claim those positions ahead of the final.
A close run fight for second place
Going into the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes and Ferrari had only four points between them in the battle for second place. As it turned out on the day, it came down to a battle between Charles Leclerc and George Russell, for Ferrari and Mercedes respectively to cinch the second place finish for their teams, as the other drivers for those teams did not place favourably at all in the finale.
In a brilliant display of strategy, Leclerc, who was leading Russell in the final stages of the race, attempted to help the Red Bull driver Sergio Perez to finish ahead of him, in an attempt to deny any spots on the podium to Russell and Mercedes. The tactic was a brilliant one and involved knowing that Perez had a time penalty on him that would push him back down and allow Leclerc to maintain a high position, and physically involved Leclerc letting Perez slipstream him to catapult him ahead.
As brilliant as the plan was, it couldn’t stand in the face of Russell’s fantastic driving, who finished within the amount of time behind Perez that he had reduced from the earlier penalty, meaning that despite Leclerc finishing second and Russell taking the podium behind him at third, Mercedes took second overall in the teams. Leclerc’s plan was a brilliant one, and only failed by about a second or so. Russell had a challenging season but seemed buoyed up by his opportunity to do something of such obvious value for his team at the close of the season finale and should be proud of a clean and skillfully driven race.
A dark horse rides into fourth
In what would shock anyone who skipped the later half of the season after watching the beginning, McLaren was able to secure fourth place ahead of Aston Martin. McLaren started the year with a fairly lacklustre performance and it wasn’t until the second half of the season that they started to show some real skill and determination, which they should feel they’ve gained adequate reward for. Being able to knock off a team as well-established as Aston Martin is impressive and Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri as the McLaren drivers should be immensely proud.
Is the domination by Red Bull Racing good for Formula 1?
Some might argue that the domination by any one team or another makes the races throughout the season less interesting and as time went on this year it did seem more and more a foregone conclusion that Red Bull Racing would take the cup, and indeed they did. But those who argue that domination by a team is bad for the sport as a whole should look back through the years, as typically one team or another does come out dominating when they hit on the right formula and the other teams haven’t.
The reality for F1 racing today is that the teams and vehicles are so highly designed, some might even say overdesigned, that when one team hits on a technique or has a breakthrough that gives them an advantage, it is unlikely that other teams will be able to adapt that advantage into their own design easily.
It seems likely that, just like in the past, when one team is severely dominating for too long a time, eventually the institution of Formula 1 will make a rules change in order to affect a shake-up of the status quo and to spur the teams into a more level competitive state. Betting experts of americanbettingapps.com argue that for this era of racing such a change might not happen until 2026, but one thing is sure, Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing have shown themselves to be fierce competitors and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store next season.