Lewis Hamilton believes his ongoing title fight against Max Verstappen is very different to the battle he had with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel in 2017 and 2018.
The Mercedes driver faces an 18-point deficit to Verstappen heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, having not won a race since the Spanish GP at the beginning of May. Hamilton feels that this year's battle is more difficult than previous seasons.
"I mean, it's much different," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "Obviously back then we had, we did have upgrades. We had a great group of people that we have behind us, who were constantly finding improvements.
"It's obviously now more flat. It's just different. We had a great battle back then. I tried to give the best of a battle that I could."
Hamilton thinks that the championship battle has changed in recent events as Red Bull won four consecutive races to lead the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships.
"Most of this season has been pretty good battle between the two of us with the very, very close performance with the cars," said Hamilton. "But, obviously that's shifted.
"They have obviously made some really good steps forward over these last few races. [Their] straight line speed has picked up a lot. We don't know whether it's wing or whether it's engine. But either way, they were too fast at the Styrian GP."