Daniil Kvyat believes the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari ‘finally know’ that catching Max Verstappen will involve copying Red Bull. Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez have run away with the three Grands Prix so far this season, leaving Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc scrapping for podium finishes.
But Kvyat feels that the field could soon even out after teams started to learn that toppling Red Bull is likely to require simply copying them. Aston Martin have already received flak from Red Bull for their similar car, with Christian Horner quipping that he was “flattered” by the design in March.
Mercedes and their Formula One rivals have used the three-week break since the Australian Grand Prix to make upgrades to their W14 car. Hamilton had called for major improvements, having gone into this season with plenty of optimism but so far failed to win a race.
Kvyat insists the situation will even out soon, although predicts Red Bull to maintain their dominance for the remainder of 2023. “But now people understood that the only way to beat them is to copy their car, finally. It’s as simple as that,” the 28-year-old told the Track Limits Podcast.
“I think they definitely will [remain dominant] this year. Maybe next year finally people will catch up, but this year still looks way ahead of everyone.
“Maybe towards the end of the year with development people will be able to get closer. But I still think… they are obviously dominating. Also Honda, the engine has been great, and they have everything they need.”
Hamilton – who still sits on a joint-record seventh world championship – believes it could still take a while for Mercedes to catch Red Bull. The 38-year-old is only contracted until the end of this season and there have been no clues as to whether he will extend his deal with the Silver Arrows.
Kvyat’s quotes could leave Hamilton with a big decision to make. He could choose to remain with his current team knowing that they may improve and he could finally win an eighth world championship.