Has Max Verstappen triggered Lewis Hamilton pessimism?

Lewis Hamilton has fired a warning as his contract talks with Mercedes for 2024 and 2025 drag on.

On Sunday, the rampant Red Bull driven by championship leader Max Verstappen surged to another commanding victory.

The Dutchman finds himself on 170 points, a step closer to his third successive championship.

Verstappen finished the Spanish GP 24 seconds ahead of second-placed Lewis Hamilton as the RB-19 flaunted superiority once more.

Verstappen now has five race wins from a possible seven, a feat that includes a hat trick of race wins signifying that Red Bull’s reign of supremacy is far from over.

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For Mercedes, there were positives to take from the Spanish GP.

New upgrades introduced at the Monaco GP have improved the standings as Hamilton and teammate George Russell joined Verstappen on the podium in Barcelona.

However, a rather pessimistic Hamilton has claimed Red Bull’s dominance will spill over into next season – Verstappen’s healthy lead may mean the team can begin developments for next season, with the rest of the grid trailing.

The seven-time world champion gave clarification, stating:

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“The further we continue to push this car this year, the more that impacts next year also, in some ways, but the more we learn about this car also then sets us in the right direction, so it’s trying to find the right balance.

“They’re so far ahead and you know, ultimately, Max will continue to win this year. But that means that they can start on their development for next year sooner, earlier than everybody else, if they haven’t already, and that’s the danger. So we’ve just got to keep working hard, but also try and get the right balance.”

With a 100% win ratio so far this season, Red Bull appear untouchable.

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The nearest challenger to Max Verstappen, aside from struggling teammate Sergio Perez, is Fernando Alonso.

The Spaniard has hit the ground running at Aston Martin, claiming five podium finishes taking his career tally to 103. The first came in 2003 at the Malaysian GP.

The 2023 season is far from over, but Red Bull lead the constructors’ championship by a considerable margin (287 points) and the reigning world champion Max Verstappen is a class above his opponents.