Lewis Hamilton has admitted there is a “high chance” Max Verstappen and Red Bull will be able to win every race for the remainder of the 2023 season.
The seven-time World Champion said Mercedes are working on a “steep gradient” to try and catch up to the runaway championship leaders, but remains hopeful that the team will be able to claw back the gap they have to the current dominant force in Formula 1 at the moment.
As for the remainder of this season, Hamilton acknowledged that his and Mercedes’ job will be to try and capitalise on any Red Bull errors, but knows that they have not exactly been forthcoming this year.
Lewis Hamilton: ‘High chance’ Red Bull will go through 2023 unbeaten
Red Bull have won every single race so far in 2023, and such has been their advantage at the front of the field through Verstappen that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc recently predicted that it will take until Formula 1’s mass regulation change in 2026 for other teams to be able to catch up properly.
Hamilton hopes Leclerc is incorrect, but admitted that he could be right in his prediction.
“Well, we don’t have a rule change coming up, so I hope that that’s not the case,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com in Zandvoort when asked about Leclerc’s claim that only a change in rules will bring Red Bull closer to the rest of the field.
“But the fact is they are ahead and most likely have started developing next year’s car already months before everybody else and [are] 100, 200 points ahead in the championship.
“So it’s very possible that Charles could be right, but we’re working on a steep gradient trying to develop and get ourselves to close the gap.
“Whether or not we can next year will be within that? I hope we can.”
Regarding Verstappen’s winning run, which has now stretched to a record-equalling nine races after his victory at Zandvoort at the weekend, talk is growing louder about the possibility of Red Bull taking in Formula 1’s first ever unbeaten season by a team.
The first step to that will be Verstappen taking an all-time outright record in winning 10 races in a row with another P1 finish at Monza this time around, but Hamilton admitted his former title rival could even go beyond that.
“There is a high chance that he’ll win every race, but we’re hopeful that we can challenge them at some point,” the seven-time World Champion acknowledged.
“Whether it’s this weekend or who knows where, and if there’s any mistakes, there’s any mishaps, we’ll be right there to try and capitalise on them.
“He hasn’t made any and the team hasn’t made many I think this year anyway. So yeah, they might win everything, hopefully at least later on the year, we’ll get closer maybe. There’s not really much more to say.”