Lewis Hamilton is hopeful that he can prove Charles Leclerc wrong, after the Ferrari driver predicted that Red Bull would continue to be unbeatable until the new power unit regulations are introduced in 2026.
Leclerc can see Red Bull dominating Formula 1 for the next two years, having so far been in a league of their own since the new aerodynamic regulations were introduced at the start of 2022.
Since the start of 2022, Red Bull have claimed victory 30 times, Ferrari have won 4 times and Mercedes have been victorious once.
However, when just looking at this season, Red Bull have won all 13 completed races.
11 of those victories have come courtesy of Max Verstappen, who is currently on a nine-race winning streak.
If the reigning World Champion wins the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, then he’ll remarkably eclipse Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row from 2013.
It’s all but certain that Red Bull’s domination will continue right until the very end of 2023, with some believing that they’ll win every race.
However, looking ahead to 2024, Hamilton is hopeful that Mercedes could challenge the Austrians, something the Silver Arrows are already working towards.
“Well, we don’t have a rule change coming up, so I hope that that’s not the case. 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,” Hamilton said.
“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.”
Hamilton is clearly much more optimistic than Leclerc but given Ferrari’s recent form that is understandable.
Leclerc explained last weekend in Zandvoort that the Italians are currently trying to understand what Red Bull have done to create such a “big margin”, with him admitting that their advantage is “different” to last season.
“We are trying to work towards catching Red Bull but it’s a big margin. It’s going to be very difficult to catch them before the change of regulations,” Leclerc said.
“It’s different than in the past. In qualifying, we are much closer than what we have seen in the past. Normally, when we see a team dominating, it was in qualifying and the race With Red Bull now, it’s much more in the race than qualifying.
“The gaps are bigger in the race compared to qualifying. That’s why we are all working towards our race pace because Red Bull is so far ahead.
“There is a lot of work to do. We will have some development in the next few races that can help us do a step forward.”