Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has hinted that the defending champions still have some small developments to come in the second half of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Lewis Hamilton's second place at the weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix was enough to take the lead of the Drivers' Championship by eight points as Max Verstappen limped to ninth place in Budapest. Mercedes' upgrades that were introduced prior to Silverstone have paid off according to Shovlin.
“It’s something we need to look at over the next few days,” said Shovlin. “We’re down to sort of pretty small developments now to be honest.
“We did have the update kit in Silverstone and that does look like it’s given us some useful performance. But then the car was working well in terms of where it was maintaining its tyre temperatures and we had quite a nice balance with it.
“But to be honest, we’re surprised by it ourselves. I mean it's a pleasant surprise, but we were surprised to have had that margin to pole for instance.”
Shovlin was confused by Red Bull's decision to run a smaller rear wing at the Hungaroring where he thought Verstappen and Sergio Perez would be the drivers to beat.
"We thought this is a circuit that should suit them [Red Bull]," said Shovlin. “The other thing that always worries us when we come to a maximum downforce circuit is that we’re frequently running around on our max downforce wing and then they bring it out for the Monacos and for this place.
“But maybe they couldn’t balance that. They went away from it on Saturday and for us it seems odd that you would ever run anything other than your biggest rear wing here.
"We don’t profess to know why they’re taking decisions on that car, but it could be that they were just struggling to get enough front end in it, on the big wing, and they dropped down onto the smaller one.”
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