Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says the team have some catching up to do with the new tires that are being used this weekend.
“We are under no illusions for the second half of the year and this weekend in Hungary we have a number of challenges to overcome,” said Wolff. “First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tires work with our car.”
Mercedes were banned from attending last week’s test at Silverstone following the punishment handed down by the FIA International Tribunal. The other ten teams all had the chance to evaluate Pirelli’s revised tires.
The team have struggled all year long with tires overheating and this weekend’s race is expected to be very hot. “We will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tires,” Wolff continued.
“During the race at the Nurburgring, we were overheating the tires and we want to minimize the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high.
“The team has worked thoroughly since Germany to improve the situation and we will find out how the new tires will affect that situation, too.”
Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.
Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.
Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.
With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.
“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.
“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”
Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.
Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.
You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.