Verstappen’s Triumph: Hamilton’s Reflection and Future F1 Ambitions

Join Lewis Hamilton's journey as he analyzes Max Verstappen's dominant F1 2023 season and outlines a strategic plan for the 2024 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton is convinced that Max Verstappen was “just chilling at the front” during the F1 2023 season, claiming the Red Bull driver did not sweat all year. Verstappen eased to his third consecutive World Championship in 2023, setting a new F1 record with 19 victories in 22 races and winning 10 in succession between Miami and Monza.

The Dutchman has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021, which ended with Verstappen dethroning Hamilton in highly controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi. Lewis Hamilton convinced Max Verstappen is cruising at the front.
Hamilton remains without a victory since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, having managed at least one win every season since his debut with McLaren in 2007.

Having analyzed Verstappen’s data, the Mercedes driver is convinced that his former rival is finding it easy at the head of the field, pointing to their battle in the closing stages of the United States GP as evidence that Verstappen and Red Bull are in a league of their own.

Hamilton finished a close second to Verstappen on the road in Austin but was later disqualified after his car was found to have suffered excessive plank wear throughout the 56-lap race. It was claimed that Hamilton’s lower ride height had made him much closer to Verstappen’s pace than he would have been otherwise.

He told the BBC: “You can go through the lap times and some of the data from Max; he is just chilling at the front more often than not. I don’t think he has broken a sweat during the year.

This blog post will examine Hamilton’s analysis and what it reveals about Verstappen’s dominance in F1. We will also examine how Hamilton plans to challenge Verstappen in 2024 as he seeks to reclaim his crown and equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

Hamilton’s frustration with Verstappen’s supremacy

Hamilton has been vocal about his frustration with Verstappen’s supremacy in F1, accusing him of being too aggressive and reckless on track. The pair clashed several times during their intense title fight in 2021, most notably at Silverstone and Monza, where they both retired after colliding.

Hamilton also criticized Verstappen for celebrating his victory in Abu Dhabi while still waiting for the stewards’ decision to overturn the controversial late safety car restart that handed Verstappen the lead and, ultimately, the championship.

Hamilton said he felt “robbed” by the outcome and questioned the integrity of F1. He also hinted that he might retire from the sport, saying he needed time to reflect on his future.

However, Hamilton continued racing for Mercedes in 2023, hoping to bounce back from his bitter defeat. He signed a one-year contract extension with the team, keeping his options open for 2024, when a major regulation change is expected to shake the grid.

Hamilton’s analysis of Verstappen’s data

Hamilton said he spent a lot of time analyzing Verstappen’s data during the off-season, trying to find any weaknesses or areas where he could improve. He said he was shocked by how easy Verstappen seemed to have it at the front while he had to push hard every lap to keep up.

He said: “I looked at all his data, and I was like, ‘Wow’. He is just cruising. He doesn’t have any pressure from behind. He doesn’t have any tire degradation. He doesn’t have any fuel savings. He doesn’t have any engine saving. He goes flat out every lap.”

Hamilton contrasted this with his situation, where he had to deal with various challenges and limitations throughout the season. He said: “I had to manage so many things. I had to manage my tires, fuel, engine, brakes, ERS [energy recovery system], DRS [drag reduction system], overtaking opportunities, and defending opportunities. It was a constant battle.”

Hamilton pointed to their duel in Austin as an example of how Verstappen had an advantage over him. He said: “In Austin, I was on his tail for most of the race. I was pushing like crazy. I was using all my energy, tires, and fuel. And then I got close enough to try a move on him. And he just turned up his engine and drove away from me like it was nothing.”

Hamilton said he felt like he was racing in a different category than Verstappen, who had a superior car and engine package. He said: “It’s like he is in Formula 1 and I’m in Formula 2. He has so much more power and performance than me. It’s not fair.”

Hamilton’s plan to challenge Verstappen in 2024

Hamilton said he was not giving up on his dream of winning a seventh world title despite Verstappen’s dominance. He said he was working hard with Mercedes to improve their car and engine for 2024 when a new set of rules will be introduced.

He said: “I’m not here to make up the numbers. I’m here to win. I still have the hunger and the passion to compete at the highest level. I still believe I’m the best driver on the grid. I need a car that can match Verstappen’s.”

Hamilton said he was optimistic that the regulation change would level the playing field and give him a chance to fight Verstappen on equal terms. He said: “I think 2024 will be a game-changer. It will be a new era for F1. It will be a fresh start for everyone. It will be an opportunity to reset and restart.”

Hamilton said he hoped the new rules would make the racing more exciting and unpredictable, with more overtaking and more battles for the lead. He said: “I want to see more action on track. I want to see more wheel-to-wheel racing. I want to see more drama and suspense. I want to see more fans cheering and enjoying the show.”

Hamilton said he was looking forward to taking on Verstappen in 2024, in what could be his final season in F1. He said: “I’m ready for the challenge. I’m ready for the fight. I’m ready to prove myself once again. I’m ready to make history.”

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