The rappers LL Cool J and will.i.am made every conceivable effort to add a glamorous show act to Formula 1: while the man from the Black Eyed Peas stood on a small desk and the small string orchestra with robotic movements played his Armen conducted (the new Formula 1 anthem is from his pen), LL Cool J announced each Formula 1 driver individually. The protagonists of Sunday's race in Miami stepped out of a kind of stage, ran through a row of cheerleaders and waved to the fans, sometimes more, sometimes less enthusiastically.
The new way of introducing drivers says a lot about current Formula 1: it offers a lot more fanfare than before. Some drivers complained after the unfamiliar presentation ("None of the drivers like it," claimed McLaren driver Lando Norris), but of course they know that new entertainment elements at Grands Prix are part of it.
Since the takeover by the US company Liberty Media, the racing series has wanted to give itself a more contemporary image. Better marketing and spectacular pictures (from the heli or from the cockpit), more communication with the fans, more Grands Prix than ever before and a new sprint format have ensured that the racing series is more popular than it has been for a long time (except in Germany naturally).
But there is a problem: In truth, Formula 1 is more boring than it has been for a long time, so the packaging can sparkle and glitter as you like. While the 2021 season was one of the most spectacular in the history of the racing series with a world championship decision in the final laps of the last race, a development began last year that intensified this year: With Red Bull, a team is so strong that the competition follows without a chance, no trace of real excitement.
Big teams like Mercedes or Ferrari have almost slipped into the middle and can't get their problems under control. Newcomers like Aston Martin deserve recognition, but are just as unlikely as any other team. In the fifth race there was Red Bull's fourth one-two. The cars of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of third-placed Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin.
All of this would be bearable if at least two drivers of equal standing sat in the cockpits at Red Bull. After the show of power in Miami, it should be clear even to the greatest optimists that the Mexican Perez has no chance against Überfahrer and defending champion Verstappen. It only gets exciting when Verstappen makes mistakes or is unlucky (like last week in Baku). But that is very rarely the case. Anyone who had hoped that Perez would become Verstappen's big challenger, like Nico Rosberg once did for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, should turn to golf. It's more exciting there.
No, no matter how nice it is as a supporter of the racing circuit, Red Bull's brutal dominance and Verstappen's extraordinary talent add up to the formula boredom. The technical updates from the competition over the next few weeks will not change that.