Max Verstappen has snapped back at a suggestion by Lewis Hamilton designed to prevent Red Bull from taking advantage of their rapid Formula 1 car.
The Dutchman has won six of the eight races so far in 2023 and Red Bull’s lead in both standings is so big that they could well be making progress on their 2024 car already.
Hamilton has suggested that it is unfair for the runaway leaders to be able to switch their focus to 2024 so early as it will only serve to keep that gap the following year while Mercedes and the rest of the grid try to catch up.
“It’s likely that bit by bit, by the end of the year we’ll catch Red Bull,” Hamilton told the media ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. “But that’s only because they’re probably already focusing on next year’s car.
“They don’t have to make any changes to this year’s car anymore because they’re so far ahead. He (Verstappen) is cruising at 100 points ahead.
“I think the FIA should put a time on when everyone is allowed to start developing on the next year’s car so no one can get an advantage because that sucks.”
Upon hearing Hamilton’s suggestion, Verstappen was quick to snap back at the seven-time world champion, claiming that the Silver Arrows were not crying out for this rule when they were the dominant force in F1.
“We weren’t talking about that when he was winning championships right?” Verstappen responded. “I don’t think we should now.
“That’s how Formula 1 works, when you have a competitive car it’s great but at some point, you have to look ahead.
“It’s normal for people at Mercedes to say these kinds of things but they should not forget when they were winning they were saying things differently.”