Having spent the majority of the second half of his F1 career in either dominant machinery or with a car fast enough to compete at the front, 7 time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, is becoming increasingly frustrated that his elusive 8th world title seems further away than ever before.
With just a few laps to go in Abu Dhabi in 2021, Hamilton had his 8th title snatched away from him by a now sacked Michael Masi after rules were applied incorrectly.
It’s difficult to see how Hamilton, who claims he is over that incident, could ever truly move past it even if he does go on to claim a record breaking 8th championship given the manner in how it was taken from him.
The pain must only be greater given the beneficiary of Masi’s error – Max Verstappen – looks to be stuck into the next phase of team domination in F1 in a Red Bull that is at least one second per lap quicker than the next best, despite not yet even being pushed in 2023.
And Hamilton, who has criticised his Mercedes-Benz team for going down a particular development path, didn’t even bother defending from Vertsappen whilst being overtaken at the weekend such was the straight line speed differential.
“I’ve definitely never seen a car so fast,” he said. “I think when we were fast, we weren’t that fast. I think it’s the fastest car I’ve seen, especially compared to the rest.”
“I don’t know how or why, but he (Verstappen) came past me with some serious speed. I didn’t even bother to block because it was just a massive speed difference.”
Asked if he was worried that fans would get fed up of Red Bull taking all the glory, Hamilton said: “Of course, I think everyone wants to see everyone close, but it is the way it is.”
Hamilton has of course enjoyed periods of domination himself. His Mercedes team set all sorts of records from 2014 onwards and his cars were also, at times, over one second per lap to the nearest competitor.
The spectacle of F1 tends to be damaged during times of one team domination, but at least Hamilton had a teammate in Rosberg who was more of a match for him than Perez appears to be of Verstappen.
The fact that the current Red Bull domination comes on the back of rules that were introduced at the end of one of the closest and most exciting championships in history in 2021 is also appearing to irritate everyone except fans of the drinks company.
Do you agree that the RB19 is the most dominant car of the last 20 years, or is Hamilton wrong? Also let us know if you think the spectacle of F1 is being ruined by one team domination of if it's just part of the sport.