Lewis Hamilton has suggested that Red Bull will once again hold a large deficit over the Formula 1 field after its dominant campaign this year.
At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull secured its 21st victory of the year with Max Verstappen cruising to his 19th win.
The Milton Keynes-based squad has enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons in F1 history as they were unchallenged en route to double championship success.
Hamilton has endured a difficult end to the campaign with challenging races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.
When asked to sum up his mood at the end of the season, Hamilton told media including RacingNews365: “Not, great. I mean, I just finished ninth, two really bad races.
“Red Bull won by 17 seconds and they have not touched the car since August or July.
“So you can pretty much guess where they're going to be next year.”
Despite Hamilton's difficult race, Mercedes managed to hold onto second place in the Constructors' Championship.
George Russell took his second podium of the season to aid Mercedes' gap ahead of Ferrari, which stands at three points.
“[I'm] really happy for the team,” Hamilton said. "We had great reliability and they did a great job."
Hamilton finished in third place in the standings for the first-time in his career, while his haul of six podiums is his worst since five in 2013.