How Kevin Magnussen Might Have Ended Red Bull’s Dominance

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen collided on the first lap of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, bringing out a very early red flag. Perez who had started the race in P16 following a shocking Q1 exit would have a long and difficult race ahead of him, but it was instead cut short.

On lap 1, just past Turn 1 and just before Turn 2, up the hill out of Sainte Devote is where Perez’s race came to an end, alongside the two Haas’ of Magnussen and Niko Hulkenburg. The collision was heavy, the state of the Red Bull a clear show of just how much.


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 How much will the damage cost the title defenders?

Crashing on a track as tight as Monaco is not only dangerous for the drivers and for those trackside, but it can also be dangerous in terms of the expenses it can cost a team. The Red Bull of Sergio Perez looked completely destroyed, and it seemed to be a miracle that the Mexican walked out completely unscathed. What will be left scathed though is Red Bull’s 2024 budget.

According to reports, only the survival cell remained as a result of the RB20 bouncing between the barriers. Speaking to, Helmurt Marko said that the collision will cost Red Bull between $2.5 million and $3 million, with the damage having potentially affected the gearbox and power unit as well. Due to the cost cap, the budget for the 2024 Formula 1 season sits at $135 million, Marko said it would affect the team in terms of upgrades.

The damage costs are worth roughly 25% of Red Bull’s 2024 development budget. With such high figures, it has also been reported that if are to Red Bull suffer any further damage costs the Milton Keynes-based team may be forced to postpone or even abandon their late-season upgrades.


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The closing gap

Max Verstappen won the first race of the season – the Bahrain Grand Prix – by 22 seconds. Behind him was Perez to give Red Bull a 1-2 finish. The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was 25 seconds behind Verstappen. It was another Red Bull 1-2 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc putting Ferrari on the final spot of the podium, 18 seconds behind race winner Verstappen.

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The third race was in Australia, at Albert Park, and it was memorable in the sense that there were no Red Bulls on the podium. Verstappen would have most likely won the race had it not been for a power unit issue that saw the Dutchman retire after only 3 laps. Perez had started the race in P6 and crossed the line in P5. As for the race winner, it was 2023’s only non-Red Bull driver race winner, Carlos Sainz. Behind the Spaniard was his teammate Leclerc, and former McLaren teammate Lando Norris.

The Dutch national anthem echoed around the paddock once again at the Japanese GP. It was yet another Red Bull 1-2 finish. Sainz came in third, 20 seconds behind Verstappen. At the first Chinese Grand Prix since 2019, Verstappen won yet again, however, Lando Norris was P2, 13 seconds behind the Dutchman. Perez was P3, 6 seconds behind the McLaren.

McLaren and Ferrari advantage?

McLaren brought major upgrades to Miami but only to Norris’ car, and it paid off. Norris became a Grand Prix winner for the first time in his F1 career, crossing the line 7 seconds ahead of Verstappen. It was Verstappen who crossed the line first though at Imola. However, it was no easy win. Lando Norris stayed close to the Red Bull all race and crossed the line only 7 tenths of a second behind P1. Ferrari too had a good race at their home race. With their first major upgrades of the season, Leclerc finished in P3, 7 seconds behind P1.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, it was Ferrari’s weekend, and in particular, Charles Leclerc’s weekend. Fastest in FP2, FP3 and Qualifying, Leclerc started his home race on pole position. 78 laps later, Leclerc who had led the race from start to finish won his home race for the first time in his career. He won the race 7 seconds ahead of Oscar Piastri’s McLaren who was P2, and 13 seconds ahead of Verstappen who finished the race in P6.

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With the financial implications that Red Bull will be facing as a result of Perez’s collision with Magnussen, McLaren and Ferrari’s progress is not good news for the Milton Keynes team. McLaren and Ferrari are to bring more upgrades as the season progresses. As a result, should the two teams continue on their current upward trajectory, they will be well in the title fight. Red Bull are at a disadvantage as they may no longer be able to afford to bring upgrades as they would like to, losing out massively in what may be a tight title fight.

Drivers’ Championship standings after Monaco (Round 8 of 24)

P1 – Max Verstappen – 169 points

P2 – Charles Leclerc – 138 points

P3 – Lando Norris – 113 points

P4 – Carlos Sainz – 108 points

P5 – Sergio Perez – 107 points

P6 – Oscar Piastri – 54 points

Constructors’ Championship standings after Monaco (Round 8 of 24)

P1 – Red Bull – 276 points

P2 – Ferrari – 252 points

P3 – McLaren 184 points


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