Mercedes bringing more car updates to Hungarian and Belgian GPs as push continues after back-to-back wins | F1 News


Mercedes will bring further car updates to both of the season’s final two races before the F1 summer break as they bid to maintain their recent upsurge in form.

Having gone 18 months without one of their drivers standing on the top step of the podium amid a long-running search for an elusive breakthrough in the current regulation era, the former champions claimed back-to-back victories with George Russell in Austria and Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.

Mercedes have credited a steady package of upgrades introduced onto their car since May’s Emilia Romagna GP as a turning point with the team reporting that the W15 is now behaving on track in an expected way.

And Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal, confirmed after Silverstone that more updates would arrive to the W15 for the back-to-back rounds of Hungary – where the team have been on pole the last two years, albeit not won the race – and Belgium before the traditional early/mid-August break in the calendar and compulsory summer factory shutdowns.

“We are finding performance, we are putting it on the car and it translates into lap time,” said Wolff.

“That wasn’t the case for the last two years.

“There is more to come in terms of performance. We are bringing updates to Budapest and Spa.

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“But on the other side we mustn’t get carried away. We had the win [in Austria] benefitting from them [Max Verstappen and Lando Norris] tangling but [at Silverstone] we had an honest win.

“We had the real pace, you could see George and Lewis in the lead, and almost under all conditions we were there.”

Asked to explain what had suddenly changed to allow them to make consistent steps forward in performance back to the front, Wolff said: “There was a moment led by James [Allison, Mercedes’ technical director] suddenly the data made sense – and the gap.

“Mainly the way we balanced the car and how we could bring it into a better sweet spot. That was the main spot. It wasn’t a miracle front wing, it was more the balance we achieved.”

As a result, Mercedes have scored the most points of any team across the last four grand prix. Indeed, having appeared to be in danger of being cut adrift of their main rivals in the standings earlier on in this season’s championship, they are only 81 points back on a now-underperforming Ferrari for second place in the teams’ standings.

Russell, who also took pole at Silverstone as part of a Mercedes front-row lockout, declared Mercedes were “clearly back” on the evidence of last weekend when they rivalled McLaren for the fastest car amid challenging changeable conditions around one of F1’s highest-speed tracks.

“It does feel that way,” said Wolff in agreement with his driver.

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates his ninth victory at Silverstone with his Mercedes team and the Silverstone crowd!

“[In Austria] we were weren’t far off, when you look at the gap that we had before the [Verstappen-Norris] crash it was maybe two tenths a lap, or a bit more, and that is the closest we have been for a long time on a track we didn’t like so much in the pace.

“That gave us hints that it could be getting much better.

“Honestly, we didn’t think it would be Silverstone because of just small stuff that we put on the car, we were more expecting Budapest or Spa, but, I agree with George, we justified what we do is right at the moment.”

Has Mercedes’ improved form changed anything for their vacant 2025 seat?

With the focus having been on improving their fortunes on track, Mercedes are yet to decide who will succeed Hamilton as team-mate to Russell for 2025 when the seven-time champion heads for Ferrari at the end of the year.

That has partly been influenced by the fact that Andrea Kimi Antonelli, the team’s promising in-house option who won his maiden F2 race in the wet at Silverstone last Saturday, is already on Mercedes’ books as a junior driver, meaning the team have the luxury of waiting to see how the Italian’s year in the feeder series develops.

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Sky Sports’ Craig Slater gives the latest on the F1 driver market and talks us through his predictions for what the 2025 grid might look like

The elongated timeframe on a final decision had appeared to rule Carlos Sainz, who has lost his Ferrari to drive to Hamilton, out with the Spaniard having been initially pushing for an earlier decision on his future. But the fact Sainz remains on the market into the summer appears to have brought him back into the equation too.

Wolff though played down the idea that the team’s step forward in form, and the fact they were suddenly back in front-running contention heading towards 2025, had led to any dramatic change in their driver deliberations.

“In a way we need to stay calm, continue the season, continue to focus on the car and then look at whether the options are still the same,” he said.

“But it’s not like it’s changing everything upside down.”

Although the chances of an audacious move to lure Max Verstappen from Red Bull, where the world champion has a contract until the end of 2028, appears to have subsided for next year at least, Wolff could not resist a quip after a Silverstone race in which the Dutchman finished a close second to Hamilton.

“I don’t know, he had lots of opportunity to look at the car in the race!” joked Wolff.

Next up for F1 is the Hungarian Grand Prix from Budapest on July 19-21. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime



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