Hamilton advises Red Bull to stay ahead in the next two years

Hamilton advises Red Bull to stay ahead in the next two years

ReutersNovember 6, 2023 at 01:13 PM ET3 minutes to read

Alonso ranks third after an intense battle with Perez

Alonso takes third place after an intense battle with Perez Fernando Alonso takes third place from Sergio Perez in Sao Paulo.

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion in Formula 1, believed that his rival Red Bull could outperform the rest of the competitors for years to come after his Mercedes team suffered its worst performance in more than a year on Sunday.

The Briton, an honorary Brazilian citizen, finished eighth in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix with his teammate George Russell withdrawing.

Team principal Toto Wolff said Mercedes’ worst performance since the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, where Hamilton and Russell finished ninth and 14th respectively, was “unacceptable”.

“We’re losing a lot of time on the straights, there’s nothing I can do about it, and then we’re slipping through the corners,” Hamilton told reporters at Interlagos.

Mercedes won in Brazil with Russell last year, Hamilton finished second, but no one has been able to beat Red Bull and Max Verstappen this year.

The Dutch driver has dominated the season, extending his record with a 17th win on Sunday after claiming his third world title last month in Qatar with six grands prix and two races to spare.

“Red Bull is a long way off, I think it’s probably going to be very clear over the next couple of years,” said Hamilton, who indicated he was counting down the days to be car-free this season.

The next major rule change in Formula One will not be before 2026.

Hamilton is competing with Red Bull driver Sergio Perez for second place in the overall standings, but the Mexican driver overtook him in Sao Paulo and now leads by 32 points with two races remaining.

Wolff said that the Brazilian race showed that Mercedes must make fundamental changes next year.

“Totally baffling,” he said of Sunday’s show. “We are a proper structure, a strong team, and this does not look like a strong team.”

Hamilton said all he could do in the end was try to remain optimistic, but his boss expressed a different stance.

“In 13 years, I’ve never felt optimistic or confident, but maybe it’s more my problem and my mind,” said Wolff, whose team won eight consecutive constructors’ championships between 2014 and 2021.

“What we do know is that we are completely changing the car.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has suggested that McLaren, who finished second to Lando Norris in Brazil and use Mercedes engines, could be a contender next season.

“It’s been different people at different times during the year, so I think we stay focused on ourselves and who’s behind us on the schedule almost doesn’t matter,” he said.

“As long as we’re at the top, that’s what we focus on.”

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