Lewis Hamilton warns Max Verstappen about him joining Red Bull

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has openly recognised that his formidable driving prowess alone cannot bridge the performance gap.

As the 2023 Formula One season unfolds, Red Bull’s RB19 has established an almost unassailable lead, securing victory in all 12 races thus far, with Max Verstappen clinching an impressive 10 wins. 

Lewis Hamilton’s introspection sheds light on the intricate dynamics at play as he navigates a fiercely competitive season.

Mercedes, despite introducing a series of significant upgrades to enhance their performance, has found themselves trailing behind Red Bull’s relentless pace. 

The RB19’s supremacy has limited Mercedes’ ability to vie for race wins, confining them to a tight contest for the final podium spots against fierce competitors like Ferrari, Aston Martin, and McLaren.

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Hamilton’s insight extends beyond his exceptional driving skills, as he candidly acknowledged the limitations of his ability to single-handedly overcome Mercedes’ performance deficit. 

“I’m always trying to rely on my driving ability to make up for the deficit, but it’s not been ultimately enough in a lot of places,” Hamilton admitted, capturing the intricate balance between skill and machinery in Formula One.

The British champion provided a poignant example of the intricacies he faces on the track. 

Reflecting on a specific race, he revealed, “If you look at the race in Silverstone, you may not have seen it, but we were equal in time until Turn 13 to Max on a qualifying lap. 

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“Then we just lost the performance and speed after that.”

Hamilton’s narrative underscores the transient nature of performance in Formula One, where every fraction of a second and every corner can drastically alter the course of a race.

In addition to battling Red Bull’s supremacy, Hamilton and his teammate George Russell have confronted recurring issues with their car’s suspension. 

These challenges resurfaced during the final race before the summer break in Belgium at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Despite these setbacks, Hamilton’s resilience remains unshaken as he continues to navigate a complex landscape.

Hamilton injected a touch of playful rivalry into the conversation by directing a cheeky remark at Sergio Perez, suggesting that Verstappen’s dominance might be tempered if he were to drive Perez’s Red Bull car. 

“If I was in Sergio’s car, Max would not be having the same [good] time he’s having now,” Hamilton quipped. 

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This lighthearted banter showcases the camaraderie and competitive spirit that defines Formula One’s elite drivers.

Verstappen’s impressive performance at Spa-Francorchamps, finishing well ahead of Perez despite a grid penalty, further accentuates the challenges faced by Mercedes. 

The resounding victory served as a reminder of the ongoing struggle to tame the Red Bull juggernaut.