Mercedes needed to “sort out our problems” over the summer break if it wishes to be competitive when Formula 1 returns this weekend in Belgium, according to team boss Toto Wolff.

Mercedes entered the summer break with a commanding lead in the constructors’ championship after winning 10 of the opening 12 races, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas P1 and P2 in the drivers’ standings.

However, the team has come under pressure in recent races after a resurgence from Max Verstappen and Red Bull, while Ferrari – despite being winless this year – is expected to bounce back after the break at Spa and Monza, two tracks that should suit its car better.

Speaking following the team’s victory in Hungary earlier this month, Mercedes chief Wolff said it had to work hard if it wanted to resolve the issues that could hold it back at the upcoming high-speed circuits.

“After the break, getting into Spa and Monza mode, they are totally different track layouts, very power sensitive circuit – something that’s going to suit Ferrari a lot,” Wolff said.

“It’s going to be difficult for us. That’s why it’s about enjoying the moment tonight, and starting tomorrow, we have to sort out our problems in order to be competitive at Spa.”

Race winner Hamilton finished over a minute clear of both Ferrari cars in Hungary last time out, but Wolff stressed that was no reason to become complacent heading into the second half of the season.

“[Hungary] is a track that probably doesn't suit them very well. They have a very strong engine and less drag, and that's why we will see a very strong Ferrari in Spa and in Monza,” Wolff said.

“I have no doubt that the conversation could be totally different than the one we're having right now.”

 

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