Hamilton, who won six of his seven world titles amid Mercedes’ unchallenged reign of F1 glory from 2014-2020, called Red Bull’s RB19 “the fastest car I have seen”. 

Can Red Bull win every race this season?

Sergio Perez led Red Bull’s second one-two of the season in Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Max Verstappen stormed through the field to take second. 

Verstappen’s charge included an easy pass on 2021 title rival Hamilton, who admitted he didn’t even bother to put up a fight. 

"I have definitely never seen a car so fast," Hamilton said. 

"When we were fast, we were not that fast. That is the fastest car I have seen, especially compared to the rest.

"I don't know how, but he [Verstappen] came past me with some serious speed and I didn't even bother to block him because there was a massive speed difference.

"Everyone wants to see a close battle, but it is the way it is. It is not my problem, it is not my fault.”

But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff disagreed with Hamilton’s claim.  

“We have had those years when we were as strong," Wolff said. 

"It is a meritocracy. Even if it is not great for the show that the same guys win all the time, it is because they have done a good job and we haven’t.

"We shouldn't down-talk it, because I remember hearing questions like that in 2014-2020, and what makes the sport so special is that you need to work hard to win and you deserve it as a matter of fact.

"Entertainment follows sport. It is maybe not good from the commercial side but it is what makes F1 so special.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s teammate George Russell praised Red Bull’s achievement. 

"You’ve got to give credit to what Red Bull have done," he said. 

"The gap they have to the rest of the field, I think is bigger than we’ve seen probably since Mercedes in 2014. It’s a serious, serious gap and I guess everybody needs to keep working harder to understand how to close that gap.

"But we know we didn't make the right decisions over the winter and I think we can regain some of that performance quicker than you would do ordinarily. So everything's not all lost."