Red Bull boss Christian Horner has Lewis Hamilton belief after Imola GP nightmare

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner still believes his Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton can not be written off despite a dismal start to the 2022 season. Hamilton’s struggles continued in Italy last weekend as he finished in 13th, and was remarkably lapped by arch rival and race winner Max Verstappen.

Another disappointing finish leaves the Englishman in seventh in the Formula 1 driver standings on 28 points. This leaves Hamilton a whopping 58 points off leader Charles Leclerc, as his chances of securing a record eighth world title continue to slip further and further away.

The seven-time F1 champion’s struggles have no doubt been good news for Red Bull, after the team’s star man Max Verstappen battled it out against Hamilton for the world title last season. Verstappen himself, however, is yet to fully take advantage of Hamilton’s misfortune, as he continues to find himself behind Leclerc despite picking up two wins this campaign.

Victory on Sunday though was hugely important for the Dutchman, as it keeps him on the heels of the leader with the Red Bull man eyeing back-to-back world titles. Whilst Hamilton doesn’t seem to be the man challenging Verstappen’s efforts, the world champion’s boss Horner is still wary of the Mercedes star.

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Asked about Hamilton’s struggles, Horner responded: “He obviously had a horrible weekend but he is still an eight-time world champion… seven-time! I forgot Nico Rosberg won.” One key problem for Hamilton has been his issue in adapting to Mercedes’ new W13 car for the 2022 campaign.

But Horner believes it is only a matter of time before the team fix their ongoing issues. He continued: “He hasn’t forgotten how to drive in the last four races so at some point they will sort their issues out and he will become a factor but obviously, the young guys are doing a great job.”

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Salt was rubbed into Hamilton’s Imola wounds when he saw his recent title rival Verstappen lap him on the way to his second win of the campaign. But Horner admitted flying past the Mercedes man wasn’t in the thought process of the Red Bull team during the race.

He commented: “I think Lewis didn’t have a great weekend but we are very much focused on our race and trying to extract the maximum points. It was obviously one of those things. At that point, we were looking at the clouds. Was the rain going to come in the last part of the race or not, we were more focused on that.”

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