Ted Kravitz casts doubt on Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull DRS advantage theory

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton explaining to Max Verstappen in the press conference. Hungary July 2023

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton explaining to Max Verstappen in the press conference. Hungary July 2023

Ted Kravitz has quashed Lewis Hamilton’s claims Red Bull’s DRS has lost its effectiveness, the Sky Sports’ pundit saying the Briton is making too much out of it after taking pole position in Hungary.

Hamilton became only the second non-Red Bull driver to secure a pole position this season when he beat Max Verstappen by 0.003s in Saturday’s qualifying.

Bringing to an end Verstappen’s streak of five pole positions, Hamilton questioned what had happened to Red Bull’s DRS, which earlier this season was billed as one of their RB19’s biggest strengths.

Lewis Hamilton: Where did that go?

“I mean, they’ve still got the DRS, they don’t have the DRS advantage all of a sudden that they used to have. Where did that go?” he said.

“I mean they’ve just had an upgrade, so we expected them to have taken another step. We heard it was around two-tenths or something like that. So for them to not have been able to extract that in qualifying is interesting.”

Kravitz, though, believes Hamilton is trying to create something from nothing.

“I know Lewis Hamilton is starting to encourage us in the media to ask questions as to why Red Bull, in his view, why Red Bull aren’t as quick as they used to be. And in his view why Red Bull aren’t getting the same advantage from the DRS that they have all season,” he said in his post-qualifying notebook.

“I’m not sure that’s ultimately true. But Lewis certainly wants to put that out there and get the media to investigate that.”

Red Bull’s negated DRS strength in Hungary is likely more to do with the circuit which has 14 corners and a main straight that is less than 1km in length which would nullify the RB19’s DRS advantage.

With Hamilton lining up on pole position and Verstappen P2, a throwback to their 2021 championship fight, Kravitz went on to contemplate the opening lap of the grand prix with the pit lane reporter pondering whether Verstappen would attack Hamilton into the first corner or cede it knowing he can “probably” pass him later in the race.

“I’m sure Max will go to bed thinking ‘you know what I’ll let him at the first corner. I will let Lewis have the first corner’,” Kravitz mused.

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“But can he do that? Can Max let Lewis have the first corner off the start? Lewis? Can he let Lewis have the first corner off the start or does he have to go for it?

“Max’s start being good, not bad, they’ve been okay. Alright, he lost out to Lando at Silverstone, they’ve been alright, but they haven’t been stellar. But what does he do tomorrow? All I can’t wait to see what is going on.”

He posed that question to Channel 4 presenter Lee McKenzie asking: “Do you think Max will be able to help himself, or do you think he’ll let Lewis go at the start?”

She replied: “Will Max Verstappen let anyone go at the start? Move along please, go!”

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