The FIA will tighten its rules on flexible floors from the Belgian GP onwards - an area of the car that Red Bull and Ferrari have potentially exploited, explaining their performance advantage in the opening half of the season.

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Mercedes struggled for pace initially as they suffered with porpoising, but in recent rounds, they’ve become more competitive with Lewis Hamilton scoring five consecutive podium finishes.

Mercedes were able to compete at the front at the Hungaroring as George Russell stormed to his maiden pole position before securing third behind Max Verstappen and Hamilton.

Looking ahead to Spa, Russell believes Mercedes could benefit from the new rules as they have “respected it as the regulation was intended.

“There’s no doubt we are making progress as a team,” Russell told Sky Sports F1 on Sunday. “At the start of the season, we were finishing a minute behind the lead. Now it’s 10 seconds in the last couple of races. If we can continue on that path, we will definitely be in the hunt.

“Spa is going to be interesting. There’s some changes to some regulations which may bring other teams towards us. I think we, as a team, have a lot of confidence and faith in ourselves that we are doing a great job and there’s no reason why we can’t be in that mix.

“There’s no doubt Ferrari and Red Bull have pushed the regulations in that regard and we have respected it as the regulation was intended.

“But there’s no guarantees that it will bring them closer to us. We know, if it was on our car, it would make us slower. Every car is different, but it’s not going to help them, that’s for sure.”

Horner remains unfazed

Horner remains confident that the new directive will have zero impact on Red Bull’s competitiveness from Spa onwards.

“Ferrari still has a quick car and Mercedes are coming back at us. Maybe we don't need to TD in Spa.

“The technical directive has no effect on us. We need quick clarification on what the rules are for 2023. I hope as early as this week. It's ten past midnight for next year and Cinderella has already left.”