Jeremy Clarkson slams 'boring reasons' for the Red Bull and Mercedes non-battle at Jeddah
Former Top Gear presenter and British celebrity Tom Clarkson has slammed the non-battle between the Red Bull and Mercedes pair at Jeddah. The race in Jeddah featured Max Verstappen making his way through the field to finish P2 in the race. At the halfway mark, Verstappen was around five seconds behind his teammate but with the gap not reducing, Red Bull called off the fight between the two drivers.
Jeremy Clarkson slammed what he felt was a non-race between the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers in Jeddah. Clarkson questioned the logic of going racing if the positions are being stage managed by the respective teams from the pits. Speaking about the race in his column in The Sun, Clarkson said:
“We like to think that when the red lights go out at the beginning of a Formula 1 race, every single one of the drivers goes round every corner and down every straight as fast as is humanly and mechanically possible. That’s what racing is all about, surely? It seems not. When Lewis Hamilton came up behind his team-mate, George Russell, in last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, George solved the problem by driving more quickly. Why didn’t he do that in the first place?"
“And then you had the Red Bulls. To stop them from doing any racing, each of the drivers was told to do the same speed as one another. I know there are boring reasons for this, tyre wear and saving the engine and so on, but I wonder how many people would watch athletics if they thought half the competitors were not going as fast as they could. To prolong the life of their shoes.”
Is Red Bull's domination potentially leading to more stage-managed races?
With Red Bull's advantage seemingly too big for any other team to catch up and compete with them this season, are we heading towards more stage-managed races? It does not make any logical sense for two teammates to fight against each other and lose potential points for the team.
If that is the case, are we heading towards what many would consider a championship where competition for the title might not be there? These are the questions that F1 needs to answer as the sport has only recently left the shadow of a Mercedes-dominant era and personnel like Stefano Domenicali might be concerned with the way the championship might unfold this season.