Red Bull have dominated the 2023 F1 season so far and are unbeaten having won all 14 races, with Verstappen claiming 12 victories.
Verstappen goes into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix looking to build on his record 10th successive win as he charges towards a third consecutive world title.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton insisted he doesn’t want to rely on misfortunate hampering Red Bull in order to beat his great F1 rival.
“I was asked a question earlier, would I rather take Max out of the equation or take [Red Bull design chief] Adrian Newey out of the equation? And I was like ‘neither’” Hamilton said on Thursday.
“We just have to level up and do a better job. They have done an exceptional job. You can’t fault them for the amazing work they are collectively doing and have done.
“I just want to level up all of us and so but there is a lot of opportunity in these next eight races, just trying to make sure we are prepared to be there if something does happen to be coming our way. We remain hopeful for that.”
Mercedes are hopeful that the high-downforce Marina Bay street circuit will suit their W14 car better after struggling for performance last time out at Monza.
“I think we were relatively competitive last year, but we had not such a great race,” Hamilton said. “But given the car we had last year, I’m hoping the car has progressed quite a lot since last year.
“So hopefully, we are maybe a little bit closer than to the front. I’m hoping we can fight for a podium. I’ll find out on Friday with everybody, but that’s the reality.