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Red Bull "almost unbeatable", concedes Hamilton

NEWS STORY
15/09/2022

Facing the very real prospect of his first season in F1 without a win, Lewis Hamilton admits that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are "almost unbeatable".

Despite appearing to be on top of the bouncing issue that has plagued it for most of the season, Mercedes form continues to change from circuit to circuit.

As a result, with just 6 races remaining, Lewis Hamilton, who has won at least one race every season since he entered F1 in 2007, is facing the very real prospect of seeing out 2022 empty-handed.

Despite six visits to the podium this season, on two of those occasions to the second step, he has yet to make it to the top, and as the season finale in Abu Dhabi approaches he fears he is running out of time.

"We have to be realistic, that Red Bull is almost unbeatable," admits the seven-time world champion. "It's going to take some real doing to beat that car.

"Performance-wise we have not caught them," he continues, "and we don't have upgrades coming to enable us to overtake them. So it's going to take some fortune going our way to win.

"It's not impossible," he insists, "because we could have beaten them in Budapest. But Max is generally chilled at the front, so you can never tell their true pace."

Ignoring the 116 point comfort cushion he enjoys in terms of Charles Leclerc, the fact is that Verstappen has won 11 races this season, and while the Monegasque returned from the summer break claiming he could 'do a Vettel' and win all the remaining races, it is the Dutchman who is enjoying a string of five successive victories.

Indeed, Verstappen can wrap up the title in Singapore next month, though Japan, a week later, seems more likely.

To win in Singapore Verstappen needs to outscore Leclerc by 22 points, which essentially means the Dutchman must win the race with his rival 8th or lower... which, considering Ferrari's record on reliability and strategy, isn't impossible.

Mathematically, teammate Sergio Perez and even George Russell are in with a shout, but would have to pull off the biggest turnaround in the history of sport.

If Verstappen doesn't wrap things up in Singapore, he can still secure the title on Japan if he has a 112 point advantage over Leclerc - or Perez or Russell - at race end.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Chester, 17/09/2022 13:54

"@equator, don't spoil folk's vicarious joy of rooting for the winner, shifting from Schumacher to Vettel to Hamilton. I think these folks need the reassurance of their choices.

Guys like me root for the underdog because when they win, as Raikonnen did at COTA in 2018, the feeling is beyond spine-tingling exquisite. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by equator180, 15/09/2022 20:02

"So, given the comments regarding the car how does Hamilton get the praise of being the GOAT when just about all agree Mercedes over the past years since the beginning of the v6 era have had all teams beat hands down in car superiority? "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 15/09/2022 0:44

"As an overall generalisation, having the fastest car has always been the prime element for success in every race there's been. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Great_white_shark, 14/09/2022 20:57

"@equator180 it's always been that way. The driver makes a difference when it's close but it isn't close.

This is what the fans wanted. More wheel to wheel racing they said...

Looks like we are back to 2013"

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5. Posted by equator180, 14/09/2022 17:35

"From the Hamilton comments is it fair to say he has come to the conclusion the "car." is the biggest factor in winning?"

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6. Posted by @R1Racing71, 13/09/2022 19:40

"And you can add next year to the list too.
You have to give it to RB this year - it’s a tremendous job. However Mercedes and in particular Ferrari have done equally as bad a job."

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7. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 13/09/2022 19:33

"As Brundle noted in the commentary, this is a reminder of Schumacher and Ferrari back in the day."

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8. Posted by Tardis40, 13/09/2022 17:36

"LeClerc could win all the rest of them and he still wouldn't have the title. Max only needs 36 or 37 more points. "

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9. Posted by Defiant, 13/09/2022 16:30

"Can't argue really. Max and RB have deserved it this year. Adrian has designed a blinder and Max has been faultless.

"

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