The Formula One season is currently on a summer break, with many drivers soaking up the sun and enjoying some down time in their Monaco mansions.However, it’ll be no such case for the teams engineers, who will be working tirelessly at the factories, to gain any advantage for next weekend’s Belgium Grand Prix.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has warned his team to be “careful” during the seasons interval and to not get complacent. Mercedes lead both the Drivers and Constructors Championship but last time out in Hungary, they endured their worst result since the F1’s present rule changes were put into effect last year.
Lewis Hamilton finished sixth, despite being on pole and Nico Rosberg only managed eighth after getting a puncture late into the race. This opened the door for Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel to capitalise, taking his second victory of the season to leave him 42 points behind Hamilton in the Drivers Championship.
“You just need to be careful. We’re just 42 points ahead in the Drivers’ World Championship and you can see how quickly it goes. You have a bad day, two cars not scoring good points and ‘boom’ you go backwards,” Wolff said.
Vettel is already a four-time champion, and while he faces an uphill battle to dethrone the Mercedes boys he certainly hasn’t given up hope yet. The German stated: “There is still a lot of work to do to catch up but you never know”.
Mercedes are still very much the team setting the pace, having locked out the front row of qualifying in the last six races. However, a faulty clutch has caused issues with their race starts, handing Williams the lead at Silverstone and allowing the Ferrari’s to take control at the Hungaroring.
The Silver Arrows will take comfort, knowing that the next race circuit is Spa-Francorchamps, where the long straights and high speed corners will favour the Mercedes engine, and as a result we could see the Ferrari’s fall behind the Williams team, instead of challenging for another victory.
Heading into the second half of the season, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen will need to be more consistent if he’s to convice Ferrari’s bosses to keep him on, although it appears increasingly likely he’ll be replaced by fellow Finn Vateri Bottas, regardless of results.
Vettel had his say about the drivers situation and said “Whatever happens I think it’s important we keep the morale, the atmosphere as a team and we keep working in one direction.”
Nico Rosberg will also be hoping to shift the momentum in his favour and outperform his team-mate, after a poor display in Budapest. When asked if he was expecting a better weekend in Belgium, Rosberg said, “I think we’ll be very quick in Spa, yes for sure.”