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    Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes can’t compete with Red Bull, but offers hope

    The seven-time world champion still hopes a win is possible in 2023 after going winless in 2022

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    Lewis Hamilton is refusing to rule out winning a Formula 1 race in 2023 despite the obvious performance deficit to Red Bull.

    Mercedes are arguably the second-fastest car over a race distance but they are still lightyears away from Red Bull and Max Verstappen in particular. McLaren have now joined the challenge, though, with Lando Norris scoring two successive second places in Silverstone and Budapest.

    Hamilton admits that Mercedes can’t lay a glove on Red Bull in a normal race but a strange incident or reliability could change that.

    “At the moment I’m not quite sure we can currently compete with them [on] race pace,” Hamilton told the media on Thursday ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

    “I mean, think there were times in the last race Max was around eight-tenths faster than everyone on a single lap. But, never say never.”

    Sprint equals opportunity

    Spa-Francorchamps hosts the third of six sprint weekends in 2023 which could produce a chance for drama involving the Red Bulls down the long Kemmel Straight. So far this season, Sergio Perez and Verstappen have one sprint win each and they went on to complete the sweep the following day too.

    The drivers currently have no say over where the sprint weekends take place with Spa looking like a prime candidate for it. Hamilton, though, doesn’t want to have any influence on where sprint weekends are held.

    “No,” was Hamilton’s extremely blunt response when asked if he wanted more say in where F1 held sprint weekends in the future.

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