SportF1Hamilton: "Red Bull has shown me that I was...

Hamilton: "Red Bull has shown me that I was wrong"

In the 2011 Formula 1 season, more than a decade ago, Lewis Hamilton ruled out signing for the team that now has Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez because he did not believe they could remain the dominant force in the Grand Circus against two historic teams, Ferrari and McLaren.

Back then, Red Bull was at the start of its run to four consecutive world titles with Sebastian Vettel, and since the Englishman’s comments in Milton Keynes they had won every world title until the end of 2013.

Once the era of hybrid engines began in 2014 , they were pushed into the background by the rise of Mercedes, the place the British went. But while at Maranello and Woking they failed to regain their form, as happened in times past, at Red Bull they took the crown again with Max Verstappen in 2021 , as well as being the clear dominators in 2022.

In 2022 , Red Bull have won ten of the fifteen rounds, while Hamilton has never climbed to the top of the podium in his troubled W13. Asked by what he thought of Verstappen’s performances to retain his 93-point lead in qualifying, the seven-time champion praised the Austrians: “I’m rather impressed with Adrian Newey and his team.”

“I think the [Red Bull] team, in general, has had very good cars for some time,” he acknowledged. “They used to have a higher ride height and more downforce than before.”

“I think they have realized and experienced this year that their engine is not slower than others, it was more that they had more durability than in previous seasons,” Hamilton said. “They have done a fantastic job.”

“Anything I’ve said in the past about the team, I didn’t say it in a negative way,” he said. “I think years ago I said something like they were a drinks company, and I was really just pointing out that I’d rather bet on a car manufacturer, but they’ve proven me wrong, just like everyone else.”

“Even more so knowing that Adrian [Newey] did his thesis on ground effect single-seaters when he was in college, so it’s not a surprise what they’ve done and created this year,” said the Briton from Mercedes. “It’s impressive, but I believe in the youngsters on our team, and we’ll get to catch up.”

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