World Champion Lewis Hamilton found it “impossible” to keep up with Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen in Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix. After Verstappen’s victorious performance in Austria, Hamilton is also unsure whether Mercedes is losing the battle against Red Bull. Hamilton is now uncertain of his chances, after Verstappen took a comfortable pole position on Saturday and cruised to victory on Sunday with Hamilton finishing a distant second.
In a dominant display, Verstappen led in every single lap of the Styrian GP to score his fourth victory of the season. Sunday’s win also puts him 18 points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Meanwhile, Hamilton and Mercedes are without a win in the last four races, which is their worst run in eight years.
According to a Motor Sport report, the seven-time world champion was heard over the radio asking Mercedes if there was anything he could do to possibly reduce the gap in Sunday’s race. The gap between the two rivals was quite large (17 seconds) before the 36-year-old made a late pit stop to pick up the fastest lap bonus point.
“It was a bit of a lonely race really," Hamilton said after Sunday’s race. He also mentioned that he was trying to stay up with Verstappen, but they made some improvement and it was impossible for him to keep up.
He also admitted that the Red Bull racing team have a clear advantage and called on his team to find some performance that can reduce the straight-line speed deficit. According to Hamilton, the deficit was “around three to four tenths” on straight line performance. “It was pretty impressive speed (Red Bull advantage over Mercedes) and there was nothing I could do,” he was quoted as saying.
The seven-time world champion also believes that Mercedes are suffering for not improving the race car, while given the positive results shown by Red Bull.
“I don’t remember the last time we had an upgrade. They have brought engine upgrades and some other part of the package and it has just eeked them ahead,” he further said.
Meanwhile, F1 is gearing up for the next round of the world championship. The rivals will get another chance to exchange hostilities at the Austrian Grand Prix, which is scheduled on Sunday, July 4.