Red Bull have won all eight races so far this season and have not looked under threat of losing their impressive unbeaten record at the start of the 2023 campaign.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, who finished runner-up to Verstappen in Australia and Spain, wants a new rule on car development in the wake of Red Bull’s domination.
“The car is moving in the right direction,” Hamilton told Sky on Thursday ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
“I think ultimately it’s likely that bit by bit at the end of the year we will probably catch Red Bull, but that’s probably because they are already focusing on next year’s car.
“They’re so far ahead, they don’t have to make any changes to this car anymore as they’re so far ahead.
“I think the FIA should probably put a time when everyone is allowed to start developing on next year’s car. Say August 1, that’s where everybody can start so that no one can get an advantage on the next year, cause that sucks.
“It would make more sense. They should. Say for example you start the season and you know you have a bad car, you can just say I’m not going to bother developing this car and put all this money into next year’s car and have an advantage.”
When it was put to Hamilton that Mercedes were also able to enjoy a similar development advantage during their own dominant spell at the top of F1, he responded: ”We never started as early as them.
“It needs to change because that’s why you have dominance for so long and they keep allowing it to happen. Ferrari was ahead and the same thing happened there, the same with Red Bull and Seb [Vettel] back in the day, they start earlier so they’re always ahead.”
Two-time world champion Verstappen appeared to dismiss Hamilton’s complaint in a blunt retort.
Asked for his reaction to Hamilton’s suggestion in the FIA press conference, Verstappen said: “Life is unfair as well.
“It’s not only in F1. A lot of things in life are unfair so we just have to deal with it.”