‘We have to be realistic’ – Mercedes predicting Hungary pace deficit as Hamilton says team ‘still have a long way to go’

Lewis Hamilton may have eight pole positions in his career at the Hungaroring, but Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles expects this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix to be a challenge – particularly Saturday’s qualifying session – for the reigning Constructors’ champions .

In the latest of the team Race debriefing video, Vowles previewed the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes came in after their first double podium of the season in France, where Lewis Hamilton finished second and George Russell third behind race winner Max Verstappen.

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“First of all, I’m really happy to see people getting carried away!” said Dirty. “The whole point of motorsport is to create some of the highest highs you can ever feel and some of the lowest lows as well.

“But we’re not where we need to be to win yet, that’s the short answer, especially on qualifying pace, and Hungary will expose that weakness to some extent. We’re realistic, we’ve made strides forward and I see progress and we can see progress for how we move forward in the coming races. But in Budapest we have to be realistic.”

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Vowles insisted his team needed to improve their qualifying pace, as Hamilton was 0.893 seconds off pace and Russell 1.259 seconds off pole in France.

“Where we are with this car is a strong race car but we may not all be able to use it in the conditions presented to us and we need to do better than we have done to make sure we qualify where the car should be , forward,” added the chief strategist.

WATCH: Relive the exciting 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix


With Hamilton in second and Russell in third, Mercedes had their best result of the season last time

Hamilton, meanwhile, echoed Vowels’ cautious sentiments when asked to look ahead to Hungary after his P2 in France.

“It’s all subjective. In the end, our performance and our result last weekend were great, but we haven’t made any progress in terms of not taking the car forward,” he said. “Last weekend we were further behind, but so far we are a lot like others counting those who failed [Sainz] was not there, of course the second Ferrari [of Charles Leclerc] was out.

READ MORE: Wolff says Mercedes still ‘must figure out how to win’ despite ‘encouraging’ double podium in France

“We managed to get ahead of the other Red Bull, which was great, but we still have a lot of work to do to earn it on pure performance, so we’re working towards that and we have a long way to go. to go.”

Conditions for Saturday’s qualifying session will be wet with thunderstorms expected to hit the Hungaroring all day long – which could make pole position a more open race…

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