Toto Wolff has called on his Mercedes team to produce 'flawless' performances in order to combat the 'major threat' he feels Red Bull will possess at the Hungaroring.
The Mercedes team principal was left frustrated again at Silverstone having seen a one-two taken away from his squad after the race stewards handed Nico Rosberg a ten-second time-penalty which dropped him into third behind Max Verstappen.
Mercedes were judged guilty of breaking the new radio rules which bans driver aids, with the team engineers advising Rosberg how to manage a gearbox problem, which ultimately dampened the team's performance which had been largely perfect at Silverstone.
READ: Rosberg welcomes Red Bull battle
As a result, Mercedes' last one-two and 'flawless' weekend stretches back to early May for round four at Sochi due to a series of mechanical issues as well as driver clashes between Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg in Spain and Austria.
Wolff still feels seeing a Mercedes one-two on the podium at Silverstone (before Rosberg's penalty) was an ideal response to the last-corner crash between his two drivers the week before in Spielberg.
READ: Wolff: This is the final warning for Hamilton and Rosberg among threat of team orders
Despite spending the majority of the first half of the season singling out Ferrari as Mercedes nearest challengers Wolff has increasingly become wary of the emerging threat of from Red Bull with a focus on the slower-speed circuits.
“It was a special day, bringing home a 1-2 finish in front of our friends and colleagues from Brackley and Brixworth. Now, we face a very different challenge in Budapest,” Wolff said. “This circuit has not been kind to us over the past two years and it plays to the strengths of our rivals.”
At the tight and twisty tracks in 2016, Red Bull has posed a continual threat to Mercedes at the sharp-end. Verstappen claimed a historic win in Spain by holding off Kimi Raikkonen after the Mercedes pair crashed out, while Daniel Ricciardo looked assured of victory in Monaco until a pit stop blunder enabled Hamilton to snatch victory.
“The Red Bull, for example, is a car that functions well where high drag isn't penalised as much as at other types of circuit,” he said. “So, in wet conditions and at low-speed circuits such as the Hungaroring, they are a major threat. We will need to be flawless to come out on top at this track.”