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Mercedes feeling the heat ahead of Hungary
Mercedes is wary of the hot temperatures expected at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix as it heads to the race on the back foot having not tested Pirelli's new tyres.
Mercedes has struggled with rear tyre degradation all year and the conditions in Hungary this weekend are expected to exacerbate the issues. Its rivals found that Pirelli's new tyre construction proved more consistent over long runs during testing at Silverstone last week, but Mercedes was banned from the three-day test and heads to the Hungaroring with several unanswered questions.
"First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tyres work with our car," executive director Toto Wolff said. "Then we will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres. During the race at the Nürburgring, we were overheating the tyres and we want to minimise 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 tyres will affect that situation, too. Our motivation is high to score a good result that we can take into the summer break but we know there is plenty of good work needed to achieve that."
Team principal Ross Brawn said the pressure would be on to understand the tyres quickly on Friday.
"Both Nico and Lewis have visited the factory in the two weeks since we returned from Germany and everyone has been working very hard to investigate our tyre sensitivities ahead of the elevated temperatures that we will undoubtedly experience this weekend in Budapest," he said. "The Hungaroring is a very slow circuit with mainly low and medium-speed corners, which present an interesting technical challenge. Friday will also be our first opportunity to work with the new tyres on our car, so we have a great deal to learn in a short space of time. We want to finish the first half of the season on a high but the challenge facing us is clear."