In 2023, Red Bull boasts, arguably, one of the best Formula 1 cars ever assembled. Such is the Austrian team’s dominance on the track this season, that, heading into their native circuit, Red Bull is currently 154 points clear of Lewis Hamilton’s stuttering Mercedes in the Constructors’ and is showing no signs of slowing down. Speaking ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton has proposed a radical new rule change to stunt a potential era of Red Bull supremacy… But is this just sour grapes?
Progress for Mercedes this season is evident, but slow. The Silver Arrows, once soaring, have been limp and ineffective this season; downforce issues have carried over from last year, with a string of average performances bringing about new headaches for Team Principal Toto Wolff, who even admitted he doesn’t believe this season’s car “is going to be competitive eventually.”
Although two podium finishes in their last two races suggest the team are starting to pull together in the right direction midway through the season, such is the dominance of Red Bull’s RB19, that Lewis Hamilton is proposing a fresh approach to stop upgrades being made to Red Bull’s already relentless car.
WATCH Lewis Hamilton talk about the importance of weight savings in Formula 1 below.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “They don’t have to make any changes to this year’s car anymore as they’re so far ahead. He’s cruising at 100 points ahead of us.”
“I think the FIA should probably put a time when everyone is allowed to start developing on the next year’s car. So August 1, that’s when everybody can start so then no one can get an advantage on the next year, cause that sucks.”Lewis Hamilton
“It needs to change because that’s why you have dominance for so long and they keep allowing it to happen. Ferrari was ahead and the same thing happened there, the same with Red Bull and Seb [Vettel] back in the day, they start earlier so they’re always ahead.”
Hamilton is nervous, and with good reason: Mercedes are without a win in 32 Formula 1 races, an unwelcome record for the seven-time World Champion that spans the last three seasons. Red Bull, however, is flying to a second consecutive Constructors’ Championship and currently occupies the top two spots in the 2023 Driver Standings, having won all eight races this year. Driver Max Verstappen is likely to add a second World Championship with Red Bull, to usher in a new era of unopposed Red Bull supremacy.
Prior to the Red Bull renaissance, Mercedes and Hamilton enjoyed one of the most prolific eras on the Formula 1 track, adding six World Championships to Hamilton’s maiden title, matching a long-held record set by the legendary Michael Schumacher, and contributing to a record eight Constructors’ Championships since signing in 2013. Something that Hamilton has forgotten, according to Verstappen:
“A lot of things in life are unfair so we just have to deal with it.”Max Verstappen
“We weren’t talking about that when [Lewis] was winning his championships, right? So I don’t think we should now. It’s normal [that] people behind us say these kinds of things but they should also not forget when they were winning how it was looking, and if people would comment this kind of thing then probably they would comment a bit different, but that’s how it goes in Formula 1.”
In the high-octane world of Formula 1, opinions run as fast and furious as the cars themselves. As the season progresses, the intense battles that occur off-track will begin to gather more pace with each passing circuit. Teams will undoubtedly already be looking to next season with strict budget caps in place, but Hamilton’s position does highlight the growing disparity at the top of the ladder. But it’s difficult to determine whether teams should have further restrictions implemented on them throughout the year or whether you believe it’s simply Red Bull’s turn at the wheel.