Mercedes says that it is feeling encouraged that it can move forward in the Formula 1 pecking order after witnessing McLaren’s improvements in recent weeks.
McLaren introduced upgrades at the Austrian Grand Prix, which boosted Lando Norris to a fourth-place result.
Its form was even stronger in Silverstone, as Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri qualified in second and third respectively.
Norris scored McLaren’s first podium of the year at the British Grand Prix, while Piastri missed out after being shuffled back due to an unfavourably timed pit stop.
Mercedes, who sits second in the standings, was able to extend its advantage over its rivals at the most recent outing.
The Brackley-based squad’s CEO Toto Wolff says that it is taking encouragement from McLaren that it can find gains of its own in the second half of the season.
“At Silverstone, we outscored our closest competitors,” he said. “We executed well on race day.
“We were able to race to the podium and extend our P2 advantage in the championship. However, the order is fluctuating almost every weekend.
“We need to keep adding performance if we are to close the gap to the front and fight for victories.
“Several teams have made big gains recently. This has brought some into the fight with us, especially McLaren.
“It has been impressive and gives us encouragement that we can also continue to find gains. We relish that challenge and will bring our own steps in due course.”
This weekend, F1 returns to the Hungaroring – 12 months ago, Mercedes’ George Russell secured his maiden pole position at the venue.
Wolff is remaining cautious over the teams’ prospects for the weekend due to its different nature compared to Silverstone.
“The Hungaroring is a circuit that is quite different in nature to Silverstone,” he said.
“It will be interesting to explore how our latest upgrades perform in the long-radius, slow-speed corners. We have good memories from Hungary last year, with George’s first pole position in F1 and a double podium for the team.
“This race also marks a decade since Lewis’ first win with us, so it’s a circuit full of good memories.
“Hopefully we can have another strong showing this time out. We want to build on the positive momentum from Silverstone and take the fight to our rivals.”