Helmut Marko reveals if Charles Leclerc is better than Lewis Hamilton

2022 was Lewis Hamilton’s first winless season in Formula 1, as the Brit battled with an uncompetitive W13.

Red Bull could not have wished for an easier path to championship glory in 2022, with the energy drink giants wrapping up both titles with plenty of time to spare.

Max Verstappen secured his second consecutive title in Suzuka, then the team followed his success up with the constructors’ championship in Austin, facing little resistance on the way.

There was a small scare for Red Bull at the start of the season, as a double DNF in Bahrain, followed by another mechanical failure for Verstappen in Australia saw the team sweat over their reliability issues, but these issues were quickly solved.

Ferrari struggled with reliability and decision-making problems all season, while Mercedes got the new regulations completely wrong and were hardly able to lay a glove on their biggest rivals all season.

READ: Charles Leclerc has a theory for Max Verstappen racing him differently to Lewis Hamilton

Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko was asked in a recent interview whether he believes Lewis Hamilton could be set for another winless year in 2022, to which he gave worrying news to Verstappen.

“I’m afraid not. Mercedes has fought its way up to us over the year,” replied the Austrian.

“They’re not on a par with us yet, but they have more wind tunnel time to develop the car.

“I’m not too worried though. We’re on a good track for 2023 and, with Max, we have the best driver in the field.”

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While Marko has admitted that there are multiple drivers on the grid capable of challenging the Dutch champion, he believes that Hamilton is the only one who truly has the quality and constancy to match Verstappen.

“Ferrari is strong, but Mercedes will be stronger in the overall package. Especially with a driver like Lewis Hamilton. He’s still a top driver,” explained Marko.

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“True, Ferrari also has a very good driver in Leclerc, but he still makes mistakes.”

Max Verstappen will be hindered in his efforts to defend his world title in 2023, as his team have seen their aerodynamic testing time slashed by the FIA, as punishment for his team’s minor overspend of the 2021 cost cap.

Should Hamilton return to top form next year with Mercedes, the 37-year-old will believe that he has a real chance of securing his record breaking eighth world title, moving ahead of Michael Schumacher, with whom he his currently tied.