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Max Verstappen reminded old foe Lewis Hamilton that “life is unfair” after Mercedes’ seven times world champion suggested Formula One needed a rule change to rein in Red Bull.

Verstappen has won six of eight races so far this season and is already 69 points clear of closest rival and team mate Sergio Perez ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull are unbeaten this year and chasing a 10th successive victory after winning 18 of the last 19. They are 154 points clear of second-placed Mercedes.

Hamilton, whose own team won eight successive constructors’ titles from 2014-21, was concerned Red Bull’s advantage was now so great that they could already stop developing the current car to concentrate on 2024.

“I think ultimately it’s likely that … at the end of the year we will probably catch Red Bull, but that’s probably because they are already focusing on next year’s car,” the Briton told Sky Sports television.

“They don’t have to make any changes to this car any more as they’re so far ahead.

“I think the [governing] FIA should probably put a time when everyone is allowed to start developing next year’s car. Say August 1, that’s where everybody can start so that no one can get an advantage on the next year, because that sucks.”

When Mercedes’ past domination was pointed out, Hamilton said his team had never switched their attention to the next year so early.

“It needs to change because that’s why you have dominance for so long and they keep allowing it to happen,” added the Briton.

Asked in the official FIA press conference about Hamilton’s comments, Verstappen rubbed salt in the wounds.

“Life is unfair as well,” replied the 25-year-old, who denied Hamilton a record eighth title and took his first in 2021 in a highly controversial Abu Dhabi finale that still divides the sport.

“It’s not only F1. A lot of things in life are unfair so we just have to deal with it.”

Verstappen added later in an interview with Sky Sports, “We didn’t talk about that when he was winning everything”.

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Max Verstappen hits back at Lewis Hamilton over Red Bull domination