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Mercedes F1 must remain cautious after Hungarian GP perfect storm

In Budapest, Russell took his first career pole, that was Mercedes to begin a troubled 2022 season.

As the Briton was struggling to hold on to the lead on Sunday, he and teammate Lewis Hamilton still delivered another consecutive double podium for the Brackley team, with Russell following second-placed Hamilton home in third.

Wolff warned on Sunday night that the team’s breakthrough performance might have been the consequence of an ideal storm.

Showers on Saturday and Sunday morning caused a drop in temperatures and substantial change in track conditions, which finished up hurting Ferrari and benefitting Mercedes, which have been lost on Friday and had a need to make wholesale set-up changes.

Therefore, Wolff is unsure if Mercedes can replicate its Hungarian GP performance on the second 1 / 2 of the growing season.

I believe we have to be careful that it is not specific to Budapest that people just landed in an ideal window, Wolff cautioned. Another teams, Ferrari especially yesterday, complained concerning the tyre not being where it will have already been.

So, in my own personal opinion, we’re still lacking to leading runners.

You’ve seen that Leclerc on the proper tyre continues to be a dominant force. But at the very least we were in exactly the same race.

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG2n congratulate each other in Parc Ferme

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG2n congratulate one another in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Praising his drivers, he added: George fantastic weekend for him with a pole position and [in the race] with the strategy did the most and, with Lewis, I believe without us screwing up with the DRS [on Saturday], I believe he’d have raced Max for the victory.

But would doesn’t count in this sport, it wasn’t the actual fact. I’m just sorry that people weren’t in a position to maintain that position.

Mercedes, which struggled massively with bouncing issues and an over-all insufficient pace over the first third of 2022, has seen a reliable improvement in performance and contains now collected 11 podiums, exactly like Ferrari, while Hamilton took six podiums in comparison to Charles Leclerc’s five.

When asked if there is more to Mercedes’ improved form than simply track conditions, Wolff preferred to remain realistic: I have no idea. Like I stated before, I don’t desire to say now suddenly we have been right bang in to the game and we are able to win races because I don’t believe that is the case.

I believe we landed it well in Budapest on Saturday, and we have been reaping the outcomes [in the race]. But I don’t believe we have been close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to essentially fight them by yet, but plenty of learning and it’s really important to fail also.

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