Hamilton’s hopes of an all-time record eighth F1 championship already appear over this season, with the Red Bulls so dominant and having already won all three grands prix.

His expiring contract means that he could opt to join a different team in 2024 in pursuit of that elusive eighth title, but he has received a stern reminder of a championship that got away.

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“You need to regroup and try again,” the Haas team principal told the Daily Mail ahead of the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“But you cannot expect or demand to be [the best]… because we won it eight times now we are going to win it nine times. No.

“And the same for Lewis. You spent eight years in the best or one of the best cars and you won championships. 

“You cannot always win, and also you lost the championship once to your team-mate as well in that time. 

“Never forget that one. Your team cannot always win.”

In 2016, Mercedes driver Rosberg won the championship, finishing just five points clear of his teammate Hamilton.

Hamilton actually won more grands prix in that season (10, compared to Rosberg’s nine) at the height of Mercedes’ dominance.

Hamilton saw the record eighth championship vanish amid controversy at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - and Red Bull have dominated ever since.

Because he has not yet signed a new Mercedes contract, despite stating his happiness to stay, the possibility exists that he could go elsewhere.

“Where could he go? Honestly, I don’t know,” Steiner said.

“Red Bull have put everything on Max Verstappen. Max is their man. Why would they now change Max for Lewis?”

Steiner said about the fantasy pairing of Verstappen and Hamilton at Red Bull: “It would be entertaining! 

“But when you are the principal or when you’re running a team, you don’t want to entertain you guys. You want to entertain yourself of being world champion. 

“I’m not doubting Lewis’ capability but I just say, I don’t see it because the people which have the other top three cars are not looking at Lewis.”

Steiner and Toto Wolff have ribbed each other recently, after Mick Schumacher was dropped by Haas then became Mercedes’ third driver.

“Your team cannot always just win,” Steiner said about Mercedes. 

“It’s human. It’s a competition. Formula One is not Formula Mercedes! Mercedes had eight good years and nothing is forever, as we all know. 

“Being surprised or not accepting that you go backwards is something I find very strange.”