- Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claimed the first non-Red Bull triumph of 2023 on Sunday
- Max Verstappen leads the drivers standings by 151 points with seven races left
Lewis Hamilton believes there may be chances for others to win this season because Red Bull are already focused on next year’s car.
Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix came alive with a five-way fight for victory in the last 17 laps before Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz took the first non-Red Bull triumph of 2023.
Despite a sudden lack of pace, Max Verstappen leads the drivers standings by a massive 151 points with seven races left and Red Bull by 308 from Mercedes in the constructors.
And Hamilton, who finished third behind fellow Brit Lando Norris on Sunday, said: ‘I don’t know why they’re off the pace but it is a positive. They have not been developing. McLaren brought an upgrade here, others have brought upgrades, but they are working on next year’s car.
‘They have less wind-tunnel time (handicapped for being defending champions and cut as a punishment for breaking the cost cap) and have migrated before us to 2024.
Lewis Hamilton (above) believes there may be chances for others to win this season
Carlos Sainz pcked up his second F1 victory on Sunday at the Singapore Grand prix
Lando Norris finished second, while Lewis Hamilton came third at Marina Bay
‘They are so far ahead and they are developing their car less and we are still pushing to develop our current one, but time will tell.’
Many suspect Red Bull’s downturn, with Verstappen fifth and Sergio Perez eighth, was track-specific.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner flatly denied that a technical directive which came in at Singapore to tighten rules concerning flexible wings hindered them.
‘We can’t blame that, it hasn’t changed a single component on our car,’ he insisted.
Meanwhile, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff will miss Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix due to knee surgery back in Austria.