Lewis Hamilton has admitted ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix that “something’s up” if Red Bull don’t obliterate the competition, something they failed to do in Singapore.
Last weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull’s 15-race winning streak came to an end.
The Austrians had anticipated ahead of the event that the RB19 would struggle, something which it did from the get-go at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Max Verstappen finished fifth whilst Sergio Perez salvaged eighth, after both drivers recovered from a shock Q2 elimination.
Low-speed tracks haven’t been Red Bull’s favourite this season; however, the high-speed sweeping corners of Suzuka should see the RB19 back in its sweet spot.
Hamilton expects Red Bull to return to their typically dominant selves this weekend and win by a huge margin, although he recognises that something fishy is definitely happening if they struggle once again.
“I would think that if they’re not 30 seconds ahead like they have done in the past then something’s up,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend.
“It was obviously a difficult weekend, the last one,” he continued, “but that car should be phenomenal here.”
Hamilton was full of praise for the Milton Keynes-based team ahead of this weekend, with him recognising that the Austrians have “been phenomenal all year long”.
Whilst they can no longer go the entire season unbeaten, they remain on the cusps of securing back-to-back Constructors’ Championships, something which can be achieved this weekend.
The seven-time World Champion is hopeful that Mercedes can attempt to challenge Red Bull, but has noted that watching the RB19 this weekend will be “beautiful”.
“They’ve been phenomenal all year long,” said Hamilton. “They’ve aced pretty much every circuit and it’s going to be great to watch that car in general.
“Normally you would come here and it’s beautiful to watch the laps that they do because the whole team as a whole and the drivers are doing an amazing job with the package they have. So it’ll be interesting to see how the weekend goes.
“I hope that we’re closer and I hope they’re not as fast as that 30-second gap they’ve had in the past.”