Toto Wolff says power unit gains from its rivals will result in Mercedes seeking ways to “reinvent” itself in a bid to wrestle back supremacy in Formula 1’s engine battle.

Mercedes dominated the early years of the V6 turbo era but has faced increased competition from the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull in recent seasons.

This year, Ferrari appears to boast a significant straight-line speed advantage over the German manufacturer, which opted to change its traditional car development philosophy over the winter to focus more on increasing downforce.

Red Bull’s switch from Renault to Honda power has proved an inspired move, with the Japanese manufacturer making impressive progress so far this year on its way to scoring two victories in its new partnership.

“The Red Bull chassis was always among the best and it still is,” Wolff said.

“And then Honda has made a big step forward from last year to this year and all credit to them.

“I am happy to see that for Formula 1 because a strong Honda is good for Formula 1 and good for the competition and in the end, if there is a fourth power unit supplier that has a competitive edge then there is generally positives for all of us.

“It also shows us that we have got to reinvent ourselves in a way and I see this as a really positive challenge.”

Having been beaten to pole position by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas suggested Honda’s recent engine progress would motivate Mercedes to work harder and find additional power-related development gains.

Asked if he agrees with his driver, Wolff replied: “I think he’s damn right. 

“We had a good streak of success and it feels now that probably the push that we need to do is even bigger.

“The others are catching up and it’s easier to catch up than to maintain the level and set the benchmark, and there is a reason why nobody has ever won six consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ championships, because it is not easy.

“I guess we all know that but we have got to push harder and smarter in order to stay ahead.”

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