Lewis Hamilton has expressed his determination to ready Mercedes for any potential opportunities arising from Red Bull’s potential stumbles in the upcoming eight races, beginning with this weekend’s race in Singapore.
Red Bull have enjoyed a dominant streak by securing victory in 10 out of the final 11 races. Remarkably, they have maintained their undefeated status throughout the entire 2023 campaign, emerging victorious in all 14 rounds.
Mercedes has been playing catch-up since the outset of the 2022 season, as they initially chose a concept that didn’t quite match their performance expectations.
Although Hamilton maintains his desire for Mercedes to be in a prime position to exploit any vulnerabilities within Red Bull, he also emphasizes the necessity for his team to elevate their performance on all fronts.
According to the British driver, this levelling up in every aspect is imperative if they are to consistently contend with the reigning champions.
When questioned about the prospects of Max Verstappen, who has triumphed in the past 10 races, encountering challenges in Singapore, Hamilton stated: “I don’t like to look at that sort of thing. I was just asked a question earlier would you rather take Max out of the equation or take Adrian Newey [Red Bull Chief Technology Officer] out the equation? Something like that.
“And I was like, ‘neither’, I think we just have to level up and do a better job. They’ve done an exceptional job, and you can’t fault them for the amazing work that they collectively are doing and have done.
“I just want to level up all of us. But there’s a lot of opportunity for sure in these next eight races. So just trying to make sure that we are prepared to be there if something does happen to be coming our way. But we remain hopeful for that.”
Mercedes is harbouring optimism that their performance will improve when Formula 1 returns to a higher downforce circuit configuration.
However, Lewis Hamilton, who boasts four previous victories in Singapore, is playing it coy when asked about the Brackley squad’s prospects of achieving a strong result this time around.
“I don’t know, I think we were relatively competitive last year, but we had not such a great race,” he acknowledged. “But given the car we had last year, I’m hoping the car has progressed quite a lot since last year.
“So hopefully, we are maybe a little bit closer that to the front. I’m hoping we can fight for a podium. I’ll find out tomorrow with everybody, but that’s the reality.”