Hamilton and the Mercedes team acknowledge that they have a challenging task ahead in order to defeat Red Bull in the upcoming year.
Lewis Hamilton expressed a pessimistic outlook on his ability to compete with Red Bull in the upcoming Formula One world championship following the conclusion of this season in Abu Dhabi.
Toto Wolff, the team principal of Hamilton’s Mercedes team, also acknowledged that the challenge ahead was comparable to climbing Mount Everest.
Max Verstappen emerged victorious at the Yas Marina track, marking his 19th triumph out of 22 races. Alongside Red Bull, he has been unbeatable throughout this season. Meanwhile, Hamilton could only secure ninth place and has now endured over two full seasons without a victory.
The seven-time winner is of the belief that it will be difficult to catch up to Red Bull’s current advantage. This is due to their early decision to focus on next year’s car and divert resources away from this year’s model.
Hamilton stated that Red Bull’s victory was by a margin of 17 seconds and that they have not made any changes to their car since August or July. He believes this gives a good indication of where they will stand in the upcoming year.
The British racer expressed disappointment as the challenging season came to a close with a lackluster car. “Overall, it hasn’t been a successful year, so there isn’t much to gain from it,” he stated. “I’m just happy that I made it through.”
Although they achieved second place in the constructors’ championship in Abu Dhabi and with the team implementing a new design approach for the upcoming year, Wolff was just as straightforward in his evaluation of Red Bull’s edge as the teams head into the off-season.
“According to Wolff, catching up to Red Bull is like scaling Mount Everest. Red Bull had a significant head start with the new regulations in 2022 and have managed to maintain their advantage.”
“We highly admire their accomplishments, both in terms of engineering and their driver. Defeating them within the constraints of the current regulations is unlikely.” Hamilton and Mercedes are counting on a new design to propel them back to victory.
Verstappen, who has enjoyed the most dominant season in F1 history, acknowledged it had been an unparalleled success but one he was not sure could ever be repeated. “It’s been an incredible season, it was a bit emotional on the in‑lap, it was the last time sitting in the car which has of course given me a lot,” he said.
“It will be a great challenge to achieve the same level of success in the upcoming season. Although we always strive for improvement, success is not solely measured by race wins and possibly securing the championship. We are dedicated to putting in the effort to ensure a strong and competitive car for next year.”
According to Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull’s team, winning 21 out of 22 races suggests there is still room for growth, but he commended his team for their hard work. He emphasized the importance of winning, stating that it is their ultimate goal.
We continue to function like a traditional racing team, constantly pushing ourselves and our boundaries. Everyone on the team is motivated to not disappoint. This unyielding determination and team spirit are what lead to our successful outcomes.