Lewis Hamilton speaks out on taking Max Verstappen ‘out of the equation’

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Lewis Hamilton has played down the suggestion that he would want to take Red Bull and Max Verstappen “out of the equation” despite his previous calls demanding more competitive parity on the grid. The seven-time world champion has had to watch on as his Dutch rival coasts to a hat-trick of titles, having won the 10 previous races in the 2023 season ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton has continuously been frustrated this season by Verstappen, leading him to ask the FIA to act, with Red Bull dominating on every track so far this year. However, when asked about the prospect of Verstappen being punished for being so far ahead of the rest of the grid, Hamilton shut down that idea.

“I don’t like to look at that sort of thing,” Hamilton replied. “I was just asked a question earlier: would you rather take Max out of the equation or take Adrian Newey out of 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.

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“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.”

Hamilton admitted that he may have been handed a boost in Singapore as a result of the revised track, as four turns have been removed and instead changed into a long straight, which the Brit believes could hinder Red Bull enough that other teams have the opportunity to compete for a race win.

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“It’ll make the lap easier, that’s for sure,” Hamilton explained. “It gives less corners for Red Bull to be further ahead! It’s a short straight. So I don’t think anyone will have an advantage, particularly on it.

“Except for the Ferraris might be quick on the straight maybe, or the Red Bulls maybe? But I think it’s such a short straight, I don’t think it’s going to be a huge issue. And I mean, there’s generally nowhere that our car is favoured!

“And this is not a particular track that’s been a strong place for us in the past. But [compared with] last year, as I said, with this type of car, we tend to be a little bit quicker than we thought we were going to be. So maybe that I hope that’s the case this weekend.”

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