Mercedes to 'take the fight' to rivals in Hungary amidst McLaren 'big gains'

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has spoken ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, as he shared how the team is looking to take the fight to their rivals on
(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive
(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive…

Like other rounds of the 2023 Formula 1 season, the British Grand Prix gave yet another turn in the race for P2 in the constructors’ standings. Given their incredible performance over the course of the weekend as a result of their new upgrades, McLaren have seemingly joined Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin in their battle. 

Mercedes also showed their hand in a strong team performance, particularly on race day, with Lewis Hamilton finishing on the podium and his teammate George Russell not far behind in P5. The race result was further welcomed by the Brackley team when Aston Martin’s main point scorer Fernando Alonso struggled to hold on to P7, with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a Williams sandwich in P9 and P10.

Up next on the calendar is a vital double-header before the summer break, as the first half of the season comes to a close. Mercedes will be looking to build on their Silverstone momentum at the Hungarian Grand Prix first, before heading to Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix the following weekend.

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"We head to Hungary looking forward to tackling the double-header before the summer shutdown," said Wolff. "It has been an up-and-down first half of the year, but we can take several positives.

"At Silverstone, we outscored our closest competitors. We executed well on race day. We were able to race to the podium and extend our P2 advantage in the championship.”

While Max Verstappen and Red Bull have already run well away from their rivals, Wolff suggests Mercedes haven’t given up hope of getting back to the top step of the podium at some point in the near future: “The order is fluctuating almost every weekend. We need to keep adding performance if we are to close the gap to the front and fight for victories.”

"Several teams have made big gains recently. This has brought some into the fight with us, especially McLaren. It has been impressive and gives us encouragement that we can also continue to find gains. We relish that challenge and will bring our own steps in due course.”

Whether McLaren or Mercedes for that matter will see the same level of performance in Budapest as they did in Britain is unknown, due to the contrast in nature of the two tracks. While Silverstone offers high-speed, sweeping corners that were tailored to the McLaren’s strengths, the Hungaroring is vastly made up of slower corners.

"The Hungaroring is a circuit that is quite different in nature to Silverstone. It will be interesting to explore how our latest upgrades perform in the long-radius, slow-speed corners”, said Wolff. 

"We have good memories from Hungary last year, with George's first pole position in F1 and a double podium for the Team. This race also marks a decade since Lewis' first win with us, so it's a circuit full of good memories.

"Hopefully we can have another strong showing this time out. We want to build on the positive momentum from Silverstone, and take the fight to our rivals."

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