Johnny Herbert lays into Chelsea as axed Sky Sports pundit worried by Red Bull

Football DIgest: Chelsea continue to spend big on Lavia and Caicedo

Former Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert aimed a stray dig at Chelsea while explaining his concerns about Red Bull’s dominance this season. The reigning champions have won every single race in 2023 so far and will be the hot favourites to do so again when F1 returns to the Netherlands this weekend.

Max Verstappen has been in a league of his own this year, with the 25-year-old simply a cut above the rest thanks to a combination of pure driving skill and the unmatched pace of Red Bull. Herbert believes that although the team’s success is certainly impressive, it has caused a lack of excitement during races which could risk damaging F1 by turning viewers away.

He began by using Manchester City as an example of a dominant sporting entity who are still exciting to watch, telling “With a procession each week [in F1], who is going to watch? That’s always the problem. Red Bull don’t care about the people who might tune off, but it has to be entertaining.

“It is not just about F1 competing against other motorsports, it is other sports too, football for example. Man City may dominate but the actual games invariably are exciting to watch. You have got to make that happen in F1. Is total domination what we really want? Is that what Max wants? I don’t think so.

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“There has got to be a point where someone has got to get hold of the reins and steer it in the direction that is beneficial for the sport overall. Competitive racing will be much more appealing for the sport, brings in more sponsorship and it is a virtuous circle.”

Herbert went on to delve deeper into the football analogy by pointing out that spending lots of money is not always successful, highlighting Chelsea as an example of when it can go wrong. The Blues have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on new players over the last two years, with co-owner Todd Boehly having adopted a scatter-gun approach in the transfer market.

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They were consigned to a mid-table finish in the Premier League last season and have failed to win either of their opening two games this time around, with their struggles proving that heavy spending is not guaranteed to bring results.

“City have built something special, but just spending money doesn’t guarantee success,” added Herbert. “Look at Chelsea, they have spent something like £1bn and where are they?”

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