Hamilton wary of Red Bull top-speed advantage again in Austria

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Lewis Hamilton admits Red Bull could overpower Mercedes again at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Last weekend, Max Verstappen ended the Brackley-based team's dominance at Circuit Paul Ricard thanks mostly to a lower downforce setup, which saw him much faster on the Mistral Straight.

That was also combined with a new Honda engine which was introduced for the French GP, and Hamilton highlighted that as an area Mercedes need to address.

“We’ve got to find some pace that's for sure,” he said post-race.

"Most of the time we lost today was just on the straights, we’re losing three and a half tenths just in a straight line.

"We've got to definitely dig deep and try and figure out why that is, whether it's power or drag.

“It’s difficult because the engines are homologated,” Hamilton added, meaning the same spec power unit must be used for the entire season. 

“They’ve obviously brought an upgrade here so we’ve got to dig deep and try and see if we can figure out how to get quicker, but we’ve still got a good package."

Looking ahead to the next two races in Austria at the Red Bull Ring, the world champion doubts if Mercedes can react in time to prevent a repeat from Le Castellet.

“It’s a power-hungry circuit, it’s got those long, long straights, so we could see something similar to this weekend with the straight-line speed of the Red Bull,” he explained. 

“But we’ve got three days to try and see if we can make some adjustments and improvements, and maybe if we maximise on absolutely everything then maybe we can give them a run for their money.”

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Hamilton currently is on a three-race streak without a win, and has seen Verstappen open up a 12-point lead in the Drivers' standings.

Even so, after losing the win on the penultimate lap in France, he was not too worried.

“It’s not gut-wrenching at all,” he explained. “We did a great job today and it just didn’t work out, so I’m not massively disappointed. 

“I think I did the best job I could today, of course, there were things that we could probably have done slightly better but overall they’ve been quicker than us all weekend, so it’s a true reflection of the pace they have.”