Lewis Hamilton fans will hate his latest comments about Verstappen and Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he expects Red Bull’s dominance to extend into the next couple of seasons following a dismal weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver took the chequered flag 62 seconds behind race winner and reigning world champion, Max Verstappen.
After an impressive start to the race at Interlagos Hamilton found himself running in P3 behind Verstappen and Lando Norris before quickly dropping behind Fernando Alonso. He and team-mate George Russell then continued to plummet down the order before the 38-year-old eventually crossed the finish line in P8.
Matters were even more depressing on the other side of the Mercedes garage as Russell was forced to retire before the end of the race with an engine cooling issue. With Carlos Sainz bringing home a P6 finish for Ferrari, the Silver Arrows’ lead in the battle for P2 in the Constructor Championship has been cut to just 20 points.
Discussing Mercedes’ chances of catching Red Bull in the development race, Hamilton conceded: “All I can do is try to remain optimistic. But the Red Bull is so far away, they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years. I knew it would be a tough one. In the moment, it is a setback. But as a team, we will just come together and try to push forward.”
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These comments are a worrying assessment of Mercedes’ progress. After showing impressive pace in both Texas and Mexico City with the new floor, the Brackley-based team looked in good shape but this result at a track which is usually so strong for them is a major setback.
It’s also a worrying statement from Hamilton in relation to his previous demands from the team at the factory. After an underwhelming Japanese Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion issued a rallying cry in the development race.
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“I have no idea where the car’s gonna be next year but we’re a long long way away,” Hamilton explained at Suzuka. “The next six months has to be the greatest six months of development we’ve ever, ever had, to close that gap and be banging on the door.”
This will, however, be music to the ears of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, who continue to dominate at the head of the field. The Dutchman made it 17 wins from a possible 20 with his latest victory in Sao Paulo, moving past the 500-point mark for the season.
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