Sunday, May 19, 2024

The three least competitive Formula One seasons in the last 15 years





Sport is always susceptible to periods of dominance. If we look at football, Manchester City have won the Premier League in five of the last six seasons, while Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga for 11 consecutive years. Formula One is no different.

Over the years, there have been plenty of different eras of dominance. In the early 2000s, Michael Schumacher returned Ferrari to their former glories, romping to five consecutive world championships. In the early 2010s, it was Red Bull and particularly Sebastian Vettel, who followed in his compatriot and hero’s footsteps. Then, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes took over.

Over the last two years, a certain Flying Dutchman has ruled with an iron fist. Max Verstappen is seen as the Netherlands’ greatest sportsman since Johann Cruyff, and he is certainly proving his worth. He was in blistering form last term as he won a second world championship in record fashion, and he is even more dominant in 2023.

With the ongoing Formula One season barely at its halfway mark, Super Max has the title practically wrapped up. He’s won ten of the 12 races that have taken place so far this term and is a whopping 125 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. In fact, he is so far clear that the online betting site Bovada isn’t even offering odds on him winning a third consecutive world title, so you may as well look at trying out their crypto casino games instead of placing that outright bet on the reigning champ.

While no one can deny Verstappen’s talent and scorching pace, no one can also deny that the 2023 season has been incredibly dull. But this isn’t the only time that has been the case. Here are four other Formula One seasons that were barely competitive.

2011

The 2010 season was one of the greatest campaigns in Formula One history. We saw three teams, namely McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull, battle it out for glory. Heading into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton all still had a chance of winning the title.

It was the talented young German driver who would eventually win that four-way tussle and cement his legacy as the youngest Formula One world champion in the process. However, anyone expecting a similarly competitive campaign the following year was about to be terribly disappointed.

Reigning champion Vettel practically had the title wrapped up by the European Grand Prix. He won six of the first eight races, five of them coming from pole position. Throughout the middle of the campaign, he would go without victory for three races, with Alonso, Hamilton, and Jenson Button all picking up victories. But the young German sensation would go on to dominate once more, winning five of the final eight races of the season and finishing a whopping 122 points clear of his nearest rival.

2013

Sebastian Vettel’s four years of dominance ended at the culmination of the 2013 campaign, but what a campaign it was. Following his dominant campaign in 2011, the Heppenheim-born star would scrape a third consecutive crown in 2012 in dramatic fashion. His title race with Alonso went down to the wire, with Vettel eventually triumphing at the final Grand Prix in Brazil.

The following year, however, Vettel asserted his dominance. There were five different winners in the first six races, which led many to speculate that the campaign would be as competitive as ever. Unfortunately for Formula One fans, the second half of the season was anything but.

After the tenth Grand Prix of the season, Vettel was already 38 points clear of his closest rival, Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen. However, any hopes of a title fight were quickly extinguished as the German driver would win a record-breaking nine consecutive races to round out the campaign, claiming a fourth straight world title by a mighty 155 points.

2020

The world was quite a different place just three years ago. Global events meant that practically all sporting events were cancelled, minus the Belarussian Premier League. Is anyone still a fan of FC Slutsk by any chance?

It was announced in late April that the delayed Formula One World Championship would get underway in July with a reduced and shortened schedule. Lewis Hamilton had won five titles in the last six campaigns and was the clear favourite to make it a record-equaling seventh in 2020. However, four of those five crowns had come at the culmination of epic battles with teammate Nico Rosberg and four-time champion Vettel.

A battle isn’t something we would get in 2020. The Mercedes man would win five of the first seven races, including winning the British Grand Prix on three wheels. Pierre Gasly would take a shock victory in Monza; however, Hamilton would then take over once more. He won six of seven races in the middle of the campaign, taking the world championship with three races to spare and eventually finishing 124 points clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The post The three least competitive Formula One seasons in the last 15 years appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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