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
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022