Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton would have won a ninth British Grand Prix crown were it not for the late-race Safety Car that allowed Carlos Sainz to pit for new tyres.
Hamilton fought from fifth on the grid to cause the Ferrari cars big problems as the race headed for a dramatic climax, thanks to some clever team strategy.
The seven-time World Champion was in third and closing in on race-leader Carlos Sainz on fresher Hard tyres when a problem for Esteban Ocon brought out the Safety Car.
That allowed Sainz to pit for new tyres and protect his advantage at the front.
"The car had the performance today and we were in the fight to win the race, which is very encouraging," said Wolff, speaking to Sky Sports F1.
"We had almost no bouncing and the pace was good on the Medium tyres. Without the Safety Car, he would have probably won the race."
Wolff: We're starting to flirt with the car
Hamilton was roared on by the home crowd as Mercedes finally showed race-winning pace after a difficult start to the season.
The team are not yet at race-winning level, Wolff has admitted, but their performance at Silverstone has represented a huge step forward.
"We were that close to winning and it would have been fantastic for him," continued Wolff.
"I think we just want to win races on our own, that would be great - and to be there fighting with them, that would be a target.
"We have a car that we can develop for next year also. We have just today, for the first time, started to flirt a bit with the car."
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