Home » Red Bull is dominating Formula 1. But internally, the team is navigating turmoil.

Red Bull is dominating Formula 1. But internally, the team is navigating turmoil.

by NBC News

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Eras of dominance are a common occurrence in Formula 1. But it’s very uncommon to see a driver and team win so much on track while simultaneously navigating so much turmoil off track.

Yet that’s the story of Red Bull Racing this season.

Max Verstappen won the “sprint” race Saturday as he pursues five out of six victories this season at Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix. But the defending champion’s on-track brilliance is being overshadowed — again — by the team’s off-track drama and controversies.

The talk of the paddock all weekend has been Red Bull’s legendary chief technical officer Adrian Newey’s shocking announcement on Wednesday that he’ll leave the team early next year after building all seven of its title-winning cars. That news unfolded against a backdrop of a power struggle among the team’s top brass and after the company investigated and dismissed allegations of bad behavior against team principal Christian Horner.

Christian Horner in Miami on FridayMark Thompson / Getty Images

“In all my years of Formula 1, there have always been teams that have been dominant for a certain period. It doesn’t last forever. When I came in, it was McLaren and then soon thereafter it was Michael Schumacher with Ferrari. And then after that, it was Red Bull. And then Mercedes. And now Red Bull again. So that happens,” Otmar Szafnauer, the former team principal of Alpine until last year, told NBC News. “I’ve never seen controversy like we’ve seen now during a period of domination. So I think that that’s unique.”

After the sprint, Verstappen said he wants stability off track.

“I’m here to just race and try to win. And of course, it’s important to feel good and have a stable environment. We’re working on that. And I’m sure that we can get that,” Verstappen told NBC News at a press conference. “I’ve been literally answering these questions from March? Feb? End of Feb? I don’t even know what to say anymore about it. We…

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