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Max Verstappen's recent domination is bad for him and F1, here's why!

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Race winner and 2021 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 12, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen's dominance has taken over the sport in the last few races. The Dutch driver is now on a 5-race win streak and if not for the early stutter in the season with the two DNFs, the title would have been sealed by now. It's almost starting to become a foregone conclusion before even a lap is done that the Red Bull driver would be the favorite to win the race.

In his most recent win streak, which extends to five races now, Verstappen has won three of these five by starting the race outside of the top 5. In each of Hungary, Spa, or Monza, Verstappen was nowhere close to the front row but still in two of these three races he was the favorite to win.

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All of this arguably makes his job easier as well, especially after a stressful championship battle last season. However, the dominant reign of the Red Bull driver is not good for the sport or for Max Verstappen himself. Here's why!

F1 fans are spoilt by the epic 2021 title battle

Regardless of what happened in Abu Dhabi on the last lap of the race, the 2021 F1 season will go down as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, both protagonists of the season, went hell for leather against each other.

It all comes down to this....๐Ÿ‘€Max Verstappen vs. Lewis Hamilton ๐ŸฅŠWho will be our 2021 Drivers' World Champion? #F1 #HistoryAwaits https://t.co/pkdRJ6U2Tq

The level at which the two performed preceded anything else that they had done in their careers. There was real tension between the two, on and off the grid as well. The two drivers had cars that were performing at almost equal levels. The team bosses, Christian Horner and Toto Wolff were close to fisticuffs whenever they greeted each other.

But, most importantly, every race had something to offer. At the 2021 US GP, everyone expected Lewis Hamilton to win, but instead Max Verstappen ended up winning that race. Similarly, at the 2021 Bahrain GP, as many were rooting for Verstappen, it was Hamilton who came out on top.

There was tension, drama, magnificent wheel-to-wheel racing, and then there was the grand theatrical climax where the two drivers reached the season's final race level on points.

Hear from the title rivals ahead of their final 2021 showdown ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธMax Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton: The Decider in the Desert#AbuDhabiGP | #SkyF1 | #F1 https://t.co/8wL63LiUAp

Once you have witnessed a season of that quality, you're spoilt. You want every season to be as close as that, every race to be fought hard, and every championship to be decided on the final lap.

On the contrary, you get one driver dominating the sport and making it look easy. It leads to conflict, and it leads to a drop in interest. If an F1 fan goes into the weekend knowing fully well who the winner is, they will lose interest. That's not ideal in any way for the sport.

It gives rise to the "it's the car" debate

Would Max Verstappen still win if the car was not this good? Yes, he would. He has already shown last season that he can take on the best that the F1 grid has to offer and beat it. Having said that, this year's success can be attributed to both the car and the driver. Max Verstappen has not missed a step, but Red Bull has certainly jumped the grid in a way few would have expected.

Verstappen might face the same accusation that two of his predecessors did if this goes on for a very long time. Before him, we've had Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel enjoy considerable success driving the benchmark machinery of the grid.

It was just another regular day at the office for Max Verstappen! ๐Ÿ˜#F1 #MaxVerstappen #Redbullracing https://t.co/PFJzwRemva

Sebastian Vettel ruled the sport from 2010 to 2013. Lewis Hamilton then took over in 2014 and (excluding 2016 โ€“ the year when Nico Rosberg won), dominated until he was dethroned in 2021. It's not these drivers' fault that they had the best car available to them. Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were unfairly chastised for only winning with the best machinery.

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If the dominance continues, it won't be long before the knives point at Max Verstappen as well. For a driver that is arguably the best on the grid at the moment, it would be grossly unfair to be subjected to these suggestions.

Single driver domination could lead to resentment for Max Verstappen among F1 fans

Lest we forget, Max Verstappen was named the most popular driver in F1 last season. One of the reasons behind that was his brilliance, which has become undeniable. The other reason was him being the last beacon of hope for F1 fans who crave competition.

The dominance of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes had reached such an extent that the sport had become boring. To make matters worse, Valtteri Bottas was too subservient to the team and hence posed no threat to Hamilton and his cruise to the title.

.@F1/@Nielsen are releasing results from a global survey (167,000 respondents) showing that McLaren is the most popular team, Max Verstappen the most popular driver (Hamilton in third), Twitter the most used social platform during races, and 90% feel F1 is the pinnacle of racing. https://t.co/gJIxyCbgA0

Fans were not only tired of Lewis Hamilton at that point, but they craved (albeit unfairly) to see him lose after many years of cruising to title wins. With the way that Max Verstappen is dominating right now, he seems to somewhat follow the same blueprint.

The Red Bull-Max Verstappen combo is so potent that even if he does not start the race inside the top 10, he is still the favorite to win. Despite the outrage over the last race and how it ended, Max Verstappen came out of all that looking like a hero. However, if the single driver's dominance continues, fans can get tired of him winning without competition and turn against him.

Something like that is not desirable, and for a driver that looks poised to become the next superstar of the sport, it's better to have the fans on his side. Will the fans turn on him? We don't know. Will he continue to be this dominant next season? It is hard to say. What we can hope for in all of this is that the sport remains in a healthy position and its next superstar is not turned into a villain by the fans.

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Edited by Aatiya Alim Qazi
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