Lewis Hamilton admits extending winning record is 'highly unlikely'
Lewis Hamilton admits it’s now ‘highly unlikely’ that he can maintain his incredible record of winning one race each season after defeat in enthralling US Grand Prix… as he laments Mercedes’ lack of ‘true pace’ against Red Bull and rival Max Verstappen
- Lewis Hamilton believes his stunning winning record is likely to end this season
- The seven-time World Champion has so far won at least one race every season
- The Briton was beat by Max Verstappen in the final laps of the US Grand Prix
- Hamilton admitted Red Bull have been the ‘quickest car’ in F1 this year so far
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is ‘highly unlikely’ to extend his unique record of winning at least one race in every season of his career after missing out on victory with just six laps remaining of an exciting US Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen again pipped him, leaving the Briton second for the third time this year – a signal of Red Bull’s dominance, which Hamilton believes will be difficult to reverse.
Hamilton’s blunt assessment came after he was initially more upbeat having just stepped out of the cockpit. But speaking at the Circuit of the Americas an hour or two later, the seven-time world champion said: ‘We need to be realistic. The Red Bull car has been the fastest by far all year.
Lewis Hamilton’s sensational GP winning record is ‘highly unlikely’ to continue this season
The Mercedes driver (green) was beaten by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the US grand prix
‘It was great to have started third, and been in a position to fight for the win, but on true pace they have been ahead of us all weekend. They were (on Sunday) and they will be at the next three races.
‘Unless something drastic happens to them, then it’s highly unlikely that we will have the true pace to be able to compete with them. This was probably one of our best chances of winning. But we will give it everything we’ve got.’
Hamilton (right) admitted it is ‘highly unlikely’ he will beat Verstappen (left) in the remaining three races
Hamilton led Verstappen heading into the final 10 laps of the US Grand Prix on Sunday
Hamilton’s next crack comes in Mexico City on Sunday before the final two rounds in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
In truth, Hamilton would never have made such a fight of it on Sunday but for an uncharacteristically poor stop by Red Bull that kept Verstappen in his pit box for 11 seconds.
Verstappen had to pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and then Hamilton to record his record-equalling season’s tally of 13 wins, level with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull also claimed their first constructors’ title since 2013.
Asked if that demonstration of strength indicated the pendulum swinging from Mercedes to Red Bull on a more permanent basis, Hamilton added: ‘It is too early to say, but if we get into next year and they’re dominating again, then yes.
Verstappen overtook Hamilton with six laps left of the US race to claim another important win
‘The Ferraris have been quicker than Red Bull throughout qualifying. Now all they need to do is pick up their race pace and they’ll be right with them.
‘We’re working on making a car that can fight, but we’ve got a much steeper hill to climb. Hopefully, it will not be impossible.’
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