Lewis Hamilton ‘beyond’ frustrated at not being able to match Red Bull

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen shake hands after the race. Canada June 2023

Third placed Lewis Hamilton and race winner Max Verstappen shake hands after the race. Canada June 2023

Lewis Hamilton has moved “beyond” his frustration over Red Bull’s incredible pace with the seven-time World Champion saying it is “likely” they’ll win every one of this year’s races.

Red Bull continued their winning streak at the Canadian Grand Prix where Max Verstappen made it eight from eight while on a personal note he equalled Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 Formula 1 race wins.

Marching out to a 69-point advantage over his nearest rival in the standings, his own team-mate Sergio Perez, there was one small break in the clouds for Mercedes and Hamilton with the Briton closer to the race-winning RB19 than he’s been at any point of this season, Australia excluded.

But even though his B-spec W14 is a big step in the right direction, the 38-year-old concedes such is Red Bull’s form there’s no point being frustrated about it as they’re “likely” to whitewash their rivals this year.

“Beyond,” he told the media in the post-race press conference when asked about his frustration over the situation. “It’s not a frustration anymore, if it ever was.

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“It’s… you know how it is, and you know what you’re faced with, and there’s nothing I can do about their amazing performance.

“It’s likely that they will win every race, moving forwards, this year, unless the Astons and us put a lot more performance on the cars, or their car doesn’t finish.”

The seven-time World Champion concedes Mercedes and Red Bull’s other rivals aren’t helped by the regulations with a budget cap preventing teams from throw money at the problem.

“It’s not easy with the regulations to find the amount of performance that they have, advantage-wise,” he added. “They’ve got to be 30 points [of downforce] up on us in certain points through the lap and we’ve got some work to do.

“But it’s not that it’s frustrating.”

In fact on Sunday at least Hamilton was feeling encouraged as he recorded his second podium in two races with the Briton 14s behind Verstappen at the line, five adrift of second-placed Fernando Alonso.

Joining his two fellow World Champs on the podium, Hamilton hopes this is a sign of things to come – maybe even a 2021-esque title battle.

“I’m happy to firstly be back in the mix and I’m just hoping at some stage we can have it all a little bit more level so we can get back to some of the good races we had back in 2021,” he said.

“And to have all three of us in a super-tight battle would be sick.”

Mercedes, though, still have a long way to go before they can challenge Red Bull for race wins, never mind the World title.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do just to add rear downforce to the car and a little bit more efficiency, but we’re chipping away,” said Hamilton.

“I do believe we will get there at some stage.

“Max was a little bit gone, but I think our pace is a little bit closer today, so we are going in the right direction.”

Fourth in the Drivers’ standings, Hamilton is just 24 points behind Sergio Perez in the race for P2.