Lewis Hamilton has ruled out Mercedes being able to beat Red Bull to any race wins before the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season.
After a disappointing Japanese Grand Prix that was wrecked when he punctured his right-rear tire on Sebastian Vettel’s front wing at the start, Hamilton suspects that Mercedes’ rival is too far ahead to be beaten.
When asked if he believed there was a chance of winning another race this year, Hamilton said: “No. We have stopped developing the car and Red Bull are a long way ahead. That is not going to happen. But we can get some really solid points, and I reckon we can get back on the podium.”
Vettel has won the last five races and is set to secure his fourth world championship at the Indian Grand Prix in two weeks. Hamilton sees no reason why Vettel cannot round off the campaign by winning the last four races, too.
“If he doesn’t have any reliability issues, most likely [he will do that],” said Hamilton. “I am willing to put money on it. Why not? He’s just walking it.”
Behind Red Bull’s dominance, there remains a very close fight for second place in the constructors’ championship between Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari. Hamilton is convinced his team can triumph in that battle, and that he could have landed a good result in Japan.
“The Lotus has picked up pace, but I felt we had a chance to fight for a podium,” he said. “I feel gutted for the guys because they are doing such a great job, but things just aren’t going our way.
“It doesn’t seem like we are having any luck to push us along. Hopefully, we can get all our bad luck out of the way now and not have much bad luck next year. That would be awesome.”