Hamilton was never in the title race this reason as his Mercedes battled porpoising and performance issues, leaving Red Bull’s Verstappen to romp home and eventually clinch glory at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix.

The rivalry that peaked at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may have a new chapter added in 2023 with renewed cars, Hamilton said.

Is Hamilton No Longer the Best Wet Weather Driver?

“Congrats to Max,” he told Sky.

“For us? We know what the problems are with this car.

“I believe that we, as a team, have not gone from world champions to not being able to build a good car.

“I have no doubts we will have a better car next year.

“Whether we rectify every issue that we faced this year? We’ll find out when we get there.”

Hamilton finished fifth at Suzuka after a two-hour delay due to the wet conditions.

He opted not to give an opinion on Pierre Gasly’s incident with the recovery vehicle, merely saying: “Everyone will comment on it, so I don’t care to.”

Hamilton said about racing in the wet: “The conditions restarting? It was awesome. That’s what motor racing is about. I had a blast!

“It was so tough, so hard to see, really hard with the car skating around.

“The restart was perfect timing, I wish we could have gone longer.

“I don’t feel frustrated. It was a sprint race! I’m happy we got points. We were just so slow in a straight line.

“As soon as I pull out, they would pull away.

“I’m glad we got in some laps for the fans. Onto the next one.”

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is sixth in the F1 standings.