F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?
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After a strong performance at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes' trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin believes the team would be ‘naive’ to think they have the advantage heading to Budapest after Lewis Hamilton took victory at Silverstone.
The British-based German team slashed Red Bull’s advantage in both the driver and team standings, pulling themselves back into championship contention as Max Verstappen crashed out of the race on the opening lap.
Hamilton and Verstappen had a coming together, with the Briton deemed at fault for the crash, with the stewards handing the seven-time world champion a ten-second time penalty for his part in the crash.
However with a DNF for Verstappen, and his team-mate Sergio Perez finishing outside of the top 15, Mercedes sliced Red Bull’s lead to just four points in the teams’ standings, with Verstappen’s lead cut to eight over Hamilton.
"[Silverstone] is one of our best tracks, so it would be naive for us to think we can go [to Hungary] and expect to carry this performance in," said Shovlin.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen (Image: GETTY)
"Red Bull are going to be good at a high-downforce circuit," he added. "Frankly, they’re good at every circuit at the moment and they’re going to be a bit bruised after the experience [in the British Grand Prix], so I’m sure they’re going to come back really strong.
"But we’re about halfway through the championship, there are very fine margins in terms of the points, and for us, we’re just going to throw everything at it now to try and get through it."
After Hungary, Formula One shuts down for a few weeks for the August summer break, with Mercedes hoping to take command of the standings heading into the shutdown.
"If we can get ourselves ahead going into the summer break, that would be fantastic," said Shovlin. "So that’s probably the target we’ll set ourselves.
"It’s a stretch target, but we've shown [at Silverstone] that everything’s possible – you’ve just got to keep going, try and get better, try and improve.
“They’re a difficult team to beat, but I think we’re a strong team and we’ll be putting everything into it to try and win."
The Hungarian Grand Prix is round 11 of what F1 hope will be a 23-race season, with the Dutchman leading the way heading to Budapest.
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