Formula 1

Mercedes still searching for pace as they head to Hungary

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After an underwhelming performance in their home race, where Mercedes were eighth and ninth, the Formula 1 circus heads to Hockenheim, where the German team will be looking to push further up the finishing order.

Nico Rosberg led his teammate Michael Schumacher to the chequered flag again at Hockenheim, and he knows that Mercedes must improve their qualifying performance if they want a good result on Sunday.

“Budapest is a great city and the atmosphere there and at the track over the race weekend is very vibrant so I always enjoy visiting,” said Rosberg. “The Hungaroring is one of those tracks that provides a real technical challenge and it is good fun to drive.

“Overtaking is difficult there so qualifying is really important and you need to start from as high up the grid as possible. Qualifying hasn’t been our strong point recently so we will be working hard on our preparations over the weekend to give us the best chance in the race.

“I had a strong weekend in Hungary last year, finishing in fourth place, and it would be nice to be competing towards the front again this time around.”

Schumacher has won this race four times before, but knows that Mercedes need to get their car up to scratch before he can take any more victories.

“The German Grand Prix last weekend was clearly disappointing for us but we have seen a variety of performances from our team over the past few races,” said the seven-time world champion. “With this in mind, I will still go to Hungary with a positive feeling.

“It is clear that we need to understand our car better, and the track in Budapest plus more time to evaluate our upgrades should help us in that respect.

“As I said after the last race, we have to remain calm, look into all the details and analyse our performance in order to learn as much as possible from such weekends. That is the way we have to go in order to improve our situation which may already be possible this coming weekend in Hungary.”

Ross Brawn, the team principal, says that there is nothing wrong with the way the team is working together – they just can’t find the pace to make them race winners. However, he thinks the Hungaroring will present a good opportunity to do some much needed tested mileage.

The last race weekend in Germany was challenging for us, particularly following the podium finish at Silverstone, and we were disappointed not to be competing further up the field,” he said. “The team is doing a good job operationally but we need to find more pace from the car and we continue to work very hard to achieve this.

“Hungary is a technically demanding circuit and should be a good proving ground for our latest upgrades, providing further invaluable track testing time, as we work to find the optimum set-up.

“Our two-week factory shutdown just after the race will be a well-deserved rest for our employees and the chance to recharge their batteries before the busy final third of the season.”

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