The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team will need to make progress with its high downforce package if they are to avoid a tricky second half of the season, according to Valtteri Bottas.
The team have struggled this season on the tracks that require high downforce settings, with Scuderia Ferrari capitalising by taking one-two finishes in both the Monaco and Hungarian Grand Prix, leaving Mercedes floundering in their wake.
Neither the next race at Spa-Francorchamps, nor the race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, rely on high downforce, with the latter likely to have the lowest downforce settings of the season, and Bottas expects Mercedes’ pace to be better at those venues than what was seen at Hungary.
But the following race after the Italian Grand Prix is the Singapore Grand Prix, and the Marina Bay Street Circuit will rely again on high downforce set-ups, and Bottas knows they need to improve to remain in the hunt for the championship.
“I really think the next at least two races on paper should be a bit better for us [than Hungary] compared to Ferrari,” said Bottas. “But I think we’ve made some good progress.
“We definitely do have work to do, they are quick through the corners, and we need to work on that. We need to work on our maximum-downforce package, that’s the main thing.
“There are still a lot of tracks to come that require a lot of downforce. Spa is more about efficiency, Monza is very low-downforce, then Singapore is about downforce again.
“We are really working hard and trying to get the car better, because if we don’t make any progress, it’s going to be a tricky season, for sure.”