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Mercedes send warning to Red Bull for final races

Andrew Shovlin says Mercedes have a car that is capable of winning this year's Formula 1 world titles, hinting that the W12 is currently a better package than the RB16B.

Mercedes have admitted they have a car that "can win championships" after a trio of events where they appeared to have the upper hand over Red Bull. In recent years, the top teams have often played down their chances and title hopes, but Valtteri Bottas' victory in Turkey and Lewis Hamilton's win at the Russian Grand Prix helped Mercedes extend their advantage over Red Bull to 36 points in the Constructors' Championship. "We've had another good run of form in the dry, we've shown good pace in Turkey in the wet, and it looks like a car that can win championships," Mercedes' Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. Referencing the 2022 rule changes, Shovlin added: "If you go back to the early part of the year, there's decisions that we're trying to take on development, trying to balance the two years. One of our worries was that at this end of the year, are we still going to be able to stick the car on pole, to get a front row lockout, to control a race? "It's really reassuring that we're now getting into the last six [races] that we've shown we've got a package that can out-qualify them [Red Bull] on a Saturday and out-race them on a Sunday." Despite Mercedes' pace at the last three events, the Drivers' Championship is a much tighter affair, with Hamilton holding an advantage of six points over Max Verstappen going into the United States Grand Prix in Austin. Hamilton is the most successful driver at the Circuit of the Americas, winning the event on five occasions. Shovlin was asked whether Mercedes' strong form would continue in Austin. "It's hard to say," he said. "We've got to go to all these races looking at what's going to catch us out, not what's going to be great and easy for us. We don't really take that kind of approach. "It's just a case of looking at all the data that's coming off the simulations, working what we need to do with the car. "It's a very different tarmac there, but it's a circuit that Lewis has been very strong at. It's a track where there's good overtaking opportunity. There's degradation, so that changes the dynamic of the race a little bit. "But there's no reason to think we shouldn't be strong in Austin. We did good preparation for Turkey, and the car's been in the right window, and that's the thing we need to make sure we do correctly for the next race."

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