Hamilton finished sixth in the F1 standings in 2022, a career-worst, and failed to win a single grand prix for the first time ever, but ended the season strongly and has vowed to fight Max Verstappen next year.

Asked if Hamilton’s woes would continue, Marko told Bild: “Unfortunately, I am afraid not. 

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“Mercedes fought their way up to us over the year. Although they are not yet at eye level, they have more wind tunnel time for the development of the car. 

“But I'm not too worried. We are on the right track for 2023 and have the best driver in the field with Max.”

Red Bull’s development next season may be hampered by the wind tunnel penalty accrued due to the F1 cost cap break.

They must also deal with the drama between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez which blew up unexpectedly in Brazil.

Perez ultimately finished third, behind Charles Leclerc, partly as a result of Verstappen not allowing him to pass.

Perez’s chances next season were rated by Marko: “Checo can certainly win one or two races. But I don't see that he can challenge Max over a whole season. 

“In general, I don't see that anyone with the same prerequisites can do that at the moment.”

Verstappen will be aiming for a hat-trick of consecutive championships in 2023.

Hamilton, his old rival, will re-emerge as the main contender, according to Marko.

“Ferrari is strong, but Mercedes will be stronger in the overall package,” he said.

“Especially with a driver like Lewis Hamilton. He is still a top driver. 

“Although Ferrari also has a very good driver in Leclerc, he still makes mistakes.

“We want to be similarly dominant in 2023. Even if this is very difficult, there is always room for improvement.

“We have room for improvement in reliability. In the first three races we retired three times due to a technical defect. And in Brazil, the set-up was not right. 

“We had an exceptional season, but not everything was perfect. And we still need a perfect day to beat Mercedes and Ferrari.”