"I have no idea what's going to happen to them" - Lewis Hamilton on Red Bull's potential performance issues
Lewis Hamilton recently said he would be surprised if Red Bull was unable to put on a dominating performance in the upcoming 2023 F1 Japanese GP.
The Singapore race was shocking for the entire fanbase as well as the paddock, as none of the two Red Bull drivers managed to bag a podium. The Austrian-British team was slower than the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, and even McLaren.
Hamilton reckons that if Red Bull is unable to dominate and pull a 30-second gap on the rest of the field at the Japanese GP, he and many others will start suspecting a major issue in the team.
The Brit told the media ahead of the Japanese GP (via Soymotor):
"I have no idea what's going to happen to Red Bull, but if they're not 30 seconds ahead of the rest like in the past, I would say something is up. I think it was a difficult weekend for them in Singapore, but their car should be great here, as it has been all year, on most circuits and it will be great to see them go around."
Lewis Hamilton then praised Red Bull and its drivers for doing a great job with the car that the team has created. He expects his own team, Mercedes, to gain more pace and close the gap with Red Bull, particularly if the reigning world champions have another poor race weekend at Suzuka.
"The team and the pilots are doing a great job with the package they have, so it will be interesting to see how the weekend is going. We hope to be closer and that don't take us 30 seconds like in the past. In Singapore we were all very tight upstairs, it was an incredible race and for Suzuka we are working very hard to gain performance, so we hope we are not too far away," he added.
Lewis Hamilton praises Red Bull for their performance in the 2023 F1 season and urges Mercedes to do the same
During a recent media interaction, Lewis Hamilton was asked whether he would take Red Bull star Max Verstappen or expert car designer Adrian Newey out of the grid to make the sport more competitive.
The Mercedes driver replied that he would remove neither, and instead praised the duo for their achievements. Hamilton feels his own team and the rest of the field should step up their game rather than wondering who can be removed.
"I was just asked a question earlier: 'Would you rather take Max out of the equation or take Adrian Newey out of the equation?' Or something like that. And I was like 'neither.' We just have to level up and do a better job. They have done an exceptional job. You can't fault them for the amazing work that they collectively are doing and have done. I would just want to level up all of us," he said via Sky Sports.
Lewis Hamilton is currently third in the drivers' championship with 180 points, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen is cruising at the top of the table with 374 points.