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Brawn: Hamilton has been through tough times before

Formula 1 Managing Director Ross Brawn believes Lewis Hamilton will continue to be at his very best against Red Bull, but that Mercedes may not have the ability to properly fight back..

Ross Brawn doesn't believe that Lewis Hamilton will let his head drop in his battle with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, despite the apparent scale of the RB16B's current pace advantage. With Verstappen cantering to an easy win at the Red Bull Ring for the second time in two weekends, his championship lead over Hamilton has increased to 32 points, and Brawn doesn't think Lewis will mentally back off. "Right now, things aren’t going well for Lewis but he’s been through this before, albeit it maybe not for some time. He is used to tough battles," Brawn wrote in his post-race column for Formula1.com. "The title is still reachable for Hamilton and Mercedes. These races have been pretty much dominated by Red Bull, but I will be amazed if that continues at every track. I think the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is going to be fascinating, especially with the new Sprint format on the Saturday." Brawn pointed to the budget cap as playing a huge role in this year's championship, due to the fact that Mercedes simply can't spend their way out of trouble. "This year is unusual in that the teams can’t respond in a normal way for several reasons. "One is that we have the cost cap now, so they can’t just throw resource at the problem. "Secondly, we have the new car coming in next year, which they will be pretty committed to, so it’s a bit of a dilemma for the team as they probably can’t afford to deliver a very strong response in the way they normally would do. "Before the cost cap, you would throw resource at it. These are the elements of the rule changes that have been made, which are significant and slightly unseen and I think the rule changes will lead to stronger championships in the future." With Hamilton and Mercedes confirming a two year contract extension over the Austrian weekend, Brawn said, "It’s great news that Lewis’ contract has been renewed. He’s a Formula 1 superstar and is a key ingredient in this fantastic battle we are having for the World Championship this season. It’s a huge positive that he will be with us for a few more years and will have a chance to drive the new car next year.

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