Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg made up three places from his grid position to claim tenth place and a single point in the Hungarian Grand Prix, however this was far from satisfactory for a team that have struggled for pace of late and Rosberg admits that the team has work to do over the summer break.
The twenty-six year old German has slipped out of the title fight since his last podium at Monaco in May, and it was easy to see why as he lacked pace throughout on a frustrating afternoon at the Hungaroring.
A good start from thirteenth place enabled Rosberg to move into tenth early on, but he made no further progress and confessed that it is doubtful that he would've scored points if he had not made such a swift getaway.
“We've had a difficult weekend here in Budapest, and just haven't been quick enough," he said. "In the race today, I had a good start and was able to gain three positions by the end, so I got the most out of it.
“Being happy with one point is not an ideal situation though. We need to find out why we are off the pace at the moment. I hope that we can do better in Spa after the break and we will push hard to make the improvements necessary.”
Team principal Ross Brawn praised Rosberg for his performance, and certainly shares his frustration that the German outfit's early season pace has deserted them.
“Nico did a good job today, and tenth place is about where the car was, if not a little better," he said. "He drove very well to make the tyres last which is a positive sign, and a good strategy saw him pick up places.”
Mercedes are losing ground to the teams ahead of them as they continue to run fifth in the Constructor's standings, and a repeat of Rosberg's maiden victory in China near the beginning of F1 2012 is looking unlikely.
Nevertheless, the team will be optimistic of coming back strong after the summer at the final two European races of the year at Spa and Monza, where their drivers delivered two of their strongest performances of last season.
by Philip Barclay