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F1 champion backs McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2024

F1 champion backs McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2024

F1 champion backs McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2024

F1 champion backs McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2024

Former Formula 1 champion Damon Hill believes McLaren may be the top contender to challenge Red Bull next year.

Red Bull secured both the constructors' and drivers' championship this season, with Max Verstappen claiming his third world championship in Qatar.

The team dominated in virtually every race, except for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz victorious on that occasion.

Despite the the record-breaking season, Hill has tipped McLaren to become a genuine contender at the front of the grid when the action resumes.

"I really do think [that]," Hill said. "The only thing that could be flattering that is that Red Bull has stopped developing their car and allowed people to catch up, so it looks like it might be closer than it really is.

"But it's harder and harder to wring the last drops out of a set of regulations and I think McLaren are doing a fantastic job and I really do think that they can keep that going.

"They've already cracked most of the problems and brought out a competitive car this season anyway."

READ MORE: Under-pressure Perez sets BOLD target for 2024

McLaren will be keen to push Red Bull even further on track next year
Damon Hill has tipped McLaren to become genuine challengers

McLaren success

Despite a challenging start to the campaign, McLaren staged a remarkable comeback in the second half of the year.

Ultimately, they secured fourth place in the drivers' championship, with Lando Norris narrowly missing out on P4 in the drivers' standings by just one point following his fifth-place result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

And after his success, pundit Naomi Schiff agreed with Hill's verdict.

"Lando is the driver on the grid who has the second biggest points haul in the second half of the season after Max Verstappen so that in itself is hugely positive," she said.

"I think he's even left a couple of points on the table sometimes, making a few mistakes when he had a car that could really perform.

"But you've got to give a big hats off to Lando. He's been extremely patient in that McLaren for it to come to this point where he's finally got some equipment that puts him on the podium.

"I was a bit excited when he said that he said he's hoping for his first year next year."

READ MORE: McLaren F1 chief admits Mercedes deal was 'no-brainer'

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