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.”