Lewis Hamilton reveals controversial explanation for Red Bull’s rapid decline

Red Bull endured their worst result of the season at the 2023 Singapore GP, where their winning streak ended.

Lewis Hamilton has predicted that Red Bull’s shocking performance at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend could be because they’re already working on next season, amid their reduced wind tunnel time.

Red Bull’s 15-race winning streak came to a sudden end on Sunday at the Marina Bay Circuit, where Carlos Sainz drove beautiful to claim victory.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen finished fifth whilst Sergio Perez claimed eighth, after both Red Bull drivers recovered from outside the top-10.

Neither Verstappen nor Perez managed to make it into Q3 on Saturday, something which hadn’t happened to Red Bull since the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

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Both drivers weren’t happy in the slightest with the performance of the RB19, which looked like a real handful right from the start of Free Practice 1 last Friday.

Sainz winning also ended Verstappen’s 10-race winning streak, something which many thought would continue until the end of the season.

Red Bull’s struggles mostly show that the Austrians are beatable, with upgrades from Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes clearly being effective.

However, Hamilton wonders if Red Bull’s poor pace in Singapore is because they’re using some of their 2023 wind tunnel time to work on 2024, with the outfit set to claim the Constructors’ Championship imminently.

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Because of Red Bull’s 2021 budget cap penalty, they have had less wind tunnel time to use this year, something which will impact how much they can work on their 2024 car.

Most teams tend to start thinking about their new car during the summer, whilst still developing their current machinery.

Red Bull haven’t had the same luxury because of their 10% reduction, although their superiority this season has actually allowed them to work on their car for next season because they are so far in the lead.

This is Hamilton’s prediction but he recognises that “time will tell” if it’s true or not.

“I don’t really know why they’re off, pace-wise,” Hamilton said, as reported by PlanetF1.com.

“But I think it’s great to see that others, like [McLaren and Ferrari] have picked up a huge amount of pace.

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“It’s great to see that Ferrari have really stepped it up, and I think it’s a positive. Probably, if you think about it, they haven’t been developing. Obviously, McLaren brought an upgrade here, others are bringing up upgrades.

“They’re working on next year’s car so… they have less wind tunnel time, so they’re probably using some of this year’s for next year’s, they would have definitely migrated before us.

“So no, I think it’s just one of the things. They’re so clear ahead that maybe they’re developing their car less and we are still pushing to develop our current one. But time will tell.”