Former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley believes Red Bull is surmountable despite a dominant start to the new Formula 1 season. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have shared the opening three pole positions and race wins with the RB19 proving too quick for rival teams, the duo untouchable on their way to victory. Two-time champion Verstappen made light work of working his way through the field from 15th to second at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix having beaten nearest non-Red Bull rival Fernando Alonso to the chequered flag in Bahrain by 38 seconds. Such has been Red Bull’s performance in the opening rounds that rivals have warned each of the 20 remaining races could be won by Verstappen and Perez – a feat that is yet to be completed by any team in F1 history. Red Bull ‘further ahead than any of us thought’ Asked by the F1 Nation podcast whether he was surprised by how far ahead Red Bull has found itself in the early stages of the season, Smedley replied: “Possibly a little bit. “But if you go back to when teams dominated-dominated, it’s not like they’re out-qualifying teams by huge amounts. “Teams need to find time and the drivers need to maybe find a little bit of time and importantly, the trackside team needs to optimise the car, for all of these teams that are behind Red Bull. “But they’re catchable, right? They’re definitely catchable. In the qualifying sessions that we’ve seen up to now, they are definitely surmountable. “In the race, they have a strong car, there’s no doubt about that. But again, I don’t think that you can look at it and say ‘it’s all over and they can’t be caught’. “So they probably are a little bit further ahead than any of us thought. But certainly not by the margins that perhaps we’re all kind of getting comfortable with.”

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