Stoddie Straight: Could ‘unstoppable’ Red Bull dump Lawson alongside with Verstappen in 2025? former Formula 1 team principal Paul Stoddart reflects on the Japanese GP.
Powered by Paul Stoddart Paul Stoddart, former team principal of the Minard Formula 1 team, writes an exclusive column after each Grand Prix. It’s pretty clear that there were two winners in Japan, as Red Bull and Max Verstappen won the Constructors’ Championship and Max proved that the incidents in Singapore were just a one-off.
In the remaining six races, we will undoubtedly see Red Bull ahead. It’s pretty clear that Max will secure the drivers’ championship in Qatar, which would be the pinnacle of a sprint win, which I think leaves a lot to be desired. Nobody is going to beat Red Bull and I see them ending this current era with the drivers’ and constructors’ championships like we saw with Mercedes, what we saw with Red Bull from 2010-13 and what we saw. seen with Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s.
When a team is in a dominant position, nothing can break it. If the rules don’t change – you’ll have to wait until 2026 to see who emerges as the top teams – but until we get there, teams will figure out how to chase Red Bull and meet the challenge. Here comes the McLaren Another Japanese winner was McLaren, who have shown in recent races that they are there or thereabouts.
Maybe they have the best car of the future in terms of being able to challenge Red Bull. The fact that it did so well in Singapore, a tight twisty, high downforce track, but equally well in Suzuka, which is anything but high downforce, shows that the innovations are really working and these drivers are delivering very commendable performance. It is in a very strong position for 2024 because you have to consider the fact that it was nowhere to be seen at the beginning of this year.
It was quite reasonable to realize that it needed a radical change, but it followed with good updates. Don’t forget there are no rule changes coming next year, so teams that finish strong at the end of this year will start strong next year. Things seem to be on the up and also the fact that both drivers now have multi-year contracts. There’s a lot of stability and it just needs to keep doing what it’s doing and it’s the best of the rest.
Oscar Piastri has been well received in Australia and deservedly so as it is no small feat to reach the podium at a track you have never raced or even driven before the weekend. He did a great job not only in the race but the whole weekend and he really shows his maturity and the fact that he just signed a multi-year deal shows how much he deserves.
me Lawson Red Bull? We really need to see how Daniel Ricciardo performs next year in the 2024 AlphaTauri with teammate Yuki Tsunoda. It’s not a stretch to say he hopes to be far ahead, but he needs to make sure he’s back at the top of his game to earn a Red Bull spot by 2025 – or even at the end of 2024, depending on how Sergio Perez performs.
I think it is possible that Liam Lawson will be risked at Red Bull with Max, maybe because he has shown that he can handle the pressure and he certainly deserves a place. Red Bull brought Max in at a very young age, so maybe they’re getting a talented driver who doesn’t have that much experience.
If the talent is that good, he will gain experience at Red Bull. But I think it is more likely it will be Daniel and Max in 2025, and Lawson and Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri.