Nobody can halt Lewis Hamilton's charge to a seventh world drivers' title in 2020, believe two of his closest rivals.
Hamilton extended his lead at the top of the championship standings on Wednesday, winning at his home grand prix at Silverstone after suffering a puncture on the final lap of the race.
His teammate Valtteri Bottas also sustained a puncture, which dropped him out of the points after he made a pit stop.
Hamilton is now 30 points clear of Bottas in the standings, having won the last three races. Max Verstappen, who was tipped as a title contender heading into the season, is 36 points down on the Briton.
When asked if anyone can stop the Mercedes driver from achieving another title this year, Verstappen replied: “No.”
Charles Leclerc, who currently sits fifth in the championship, added: “The question is ‘can anybody stop Lewis?’ No. I think the guy that has some chances is Valtteri – but that’s it.”
With Mercedes' advantage at the front of the field appearing to be as strong as ever, Hamilton states that he would much prefer to be involved in a fight with drivers from rival teams, such as Verstappen and Leclerc.
“I’m a through and through racer at heart,” Hamilton explained. “I’ve grown up, particularly when you’re in karting, you’ve got the wheel-to-wheel racing, that’s what has always excited me, and that’s what gets me up in the morning.
“This is not the championship fight I would have hoped for. I’d much, much prefer to be having a super-close battle with these two here because that’s what gets me going.
“I think I’m still putting in the laps that are required but it’s not a close battle with Max in qualifying and the same with Charles. I really, really hope that in future it’s closer.”
Mercedes, who has won 74% of all grand prix since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, can't be blamed for its dominance, according to Hamilton.
“It’s the rules. Ultimately every team is given rules and at the end of the day we’ve just done an exceptional job collectively and you can’t fault my team for that,” Hamilton noted.
“That’s not our fault. You have to look at the people that run the sport doing a better job moving forwards, I would say, ruling-wise. I think they’re showing some signs.
“I think Ross is showing us a car for the future that’s going to have us all closer. Hopefully it’s not as slow as a GP2 car, and then hopefully we’ll get some more-like karting races in the future.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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