Hamilton: ‘Impossible’ to keep up with Verstappen in ‘lonely’ Styrian GP

Lewis Hamilton found it “impossible” to keep up with Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen in Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix, leaving him unsure where Mercedes is losing time to Red Bull.

Hamilton: ‘Impossible’ to keep up with Verstappen in ‘lonely’ Styrian GP

Verstappen edged out Hamilton by two-tenths of a second in qualifying on Saturday to take pole, leaving the Mercedes driver uncertain of his chances of overtaking come race day.

Verstappen duly delivered a dominant display, leading every single lap of the race to score his fourth victory of the season and extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 18 points.

Hamilton was heard over the radio asking Mercedes if there was anything he could do to reduce the gap, which grew as large as 17 seconds before the seven-time world champion pitted late on to pick up the fastest lap bonus point.

“It was a bit of a lonely race really,” Hamilton said.

“I was trying to keep up with those guys but the speed they have, they’ve obviously made some big improvements over the last couple of races and [it was] impossible to keep up.

“I don't know where we're losing all the time, but I think their long run seems to be a bit better, they seem to be able to continue pulling out those laps.

“And obviously on the straights, we are losing a lot down the straights, or I feel like we are losing a lot down the straights.

“But nonetheless, we got good points as a team today and we just got to keep pushing.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull’s straight-line speed has been a regular talking point throughout the Styrian Grand Prix race weekend, with the team putting its recent gains down to its low-drag set-up and small rear wing and not due to its change in engine at Paul Ricard.

Hamilton called on his Mercedes team to find some performance to strike back at Red Bull and reduce the straight-line speed deficit.

“We need to find some performance, we need an upgrade of some sort, we need to push,” Hamilton said.

“I don't know whether it's just the rear wing or whether it's the upgrade in the engine, whatever it may be, but we've got to find some performance.”

The result marked Hamilton’s fourth race in a row without victory, leaving the Briton in his longest win drought since a six-race spell at the end of 2017 and in early 2018.

Asked about his feelings on the title race with Verstappen pulling further clear, Hamilton said he would “try not to concern myself with that”.

“I mean, naturally they are just faster, so there's not a lot that I can do in that respect,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve just got to keep trying to do the best job I can each weekend.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Styrian Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins from Hamilton

Previous article

F1 Styrian Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins from Hamilton

Next article

Leclerc's Styrian GP charge "one of my best performances" in F1

Leclerc's Styrian GP charge "one of my best performances" in F1
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021