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Red Bull ‘a major threat’ to Mercedes in Hungary

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff believes that Red Bull will pose “a major threat” in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix due to the tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring in Budapest.

Mercedes arrives in Hungary riding high after a double-podium finish at Silverstone eight days ago, with Lewis Hamilton picking up his fourth win of the season.

The Hungaroring is the only track on F1’s 21-race calendar that Mercedes has failed to win at during the hybrid era, and Wolff doubts it will be easy to complete the set on Sunday.

“This circuit has not been kind to us over the past two years and it plays to the strengths of our rivals,” Wolff said.

“The Red Bull, for example, is a car that functions well where high drag isn’t penalised as much as at other types of circuit.

“So, in wet conditions and at low-speed circuits such as the Hungaroring, they are a major threat.

“We will need to be flawless to come out on top at this track.”

Wolff also spoke of the need to balance resources between the current season and the 2017 car, with the change in the technical regulations offering both opportunities and pitfalls for teams.

“We are also now entering a time where things are complicated even more by some big decisions to be made,” Wolff said.

“Every week we must analyse how much resource we move across to the 2017 project – but that’s a tricky balance.

“Some teams will have stopped 2016 development very early – as early as February maybe, once the current cars hit the circuit.

“That does give them an advantage, as the learning curve is very steep at the beginning. If you are a few weeks behind you can find yourselves much further back in the end.

“We may be halfway through the battle for this year – but the hard work is only just beginning.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.