Lewis Hamilton’s worrying Red Bull prediction as he places blame for Brazil woes

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton walking through the paddock.

Lewis Hamilton wowed by Ferrari in Las Vegas as he exits in Q2.

Lewis Hamilton fears Red Bull will continue to dominate for the next “couple of years”, his woeful prediction coming in the wake of a disappointing Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

Arriving at a circuit where Mercedes secured the 1-2 result last season, Hamilton had hoped he would have an outside shot at claiming his first race win of this season.

It was not to be with Mercedes massively off the pace as the “draggy” W14 destroyed its tyres, costing both drivers positions in the Sprint and the Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes’ floor is ‘not working’

Having made a fantastic getaway at the initial start to run as high as P3, Hamilton was quickly overtaken by Fernando Alonso after the second restart before a DRS train formed behind him with the Briton unable to shake his rivals loose.

As the 71 laps counted down he fell to eighth place and almost lost that position to the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.

Mercedes’ performance, which saw George Russell retire with cooling issues, was in sharp contrast to the United States and Mexican Grands Prix with Hamilton declaring after the Austin race that Mercedes’ new floor brought both performance and confidence.

But after Sunday’s race, he didn’t have a good word to say about the upgrade.

“My guess is that the floor is not working,” he said.

“The floor is not sucking it down so that pushed us to go to a higher wing, and then we’re just massively draggy on the straights.

“And we’re losing so much time on the straights, there’s nothing I can do about it, and then we’re just sliding through the corners. So we have to look into why that is the case on this rough circuit.”

He summed up his race: “Just the tyres are overheating, slow on the straights, no grip in the corners.”

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Lewis Hamilton’s worrying Red Bull prediction

Hamilton took the chequered flag more than a minute behind Max Verstappen on a day when the reigning World Champion won a record-breaking 17th Grand Prix for the season.

Such has been Verstappen’s speed in the RB19, his 524 points in the Drivers’ standings puts him more than 100 points clear of Mercedes’ tally for the season, which is 382.

It has Hamilton stating that while he is trying to remain optimistic, he fears Red Bull will continue to dominate for the next few seasons.

“I think ultimately, all I can do is try to remain optimistic,” he said.

“The Red Bull, I think, is so far away. I think they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years.”

Hamilton’s deficit to Sergio Perez is up to 34 points with two races, 52 points, still in play.

Read next: Explained: Why Lewis Hamilton didn’t ‘jump start’ the Brazilian Grand Prix