Mercedes has been on the back foot for the last five races. Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Red Bull had a 44 points advantage in the constructors’ championship, while Max Verstappen had a 32 points advantage on the drivers’ side.
However, after Lewis Hamilton masterfully won the British Grand Prix and Valtteri Bottas scored a very good third place, while Red Bull failed to score any points, the gap in both championships is now almost nonexistent.
“It was on the cards to actually start to inch away again from Mercedes, but that’s what happens in this sport,” Damon Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.
“I remember the headlines going into Imola in 1994, which were [Ayrton] Senna has got to stop the rot now, he’s got to win this. This is a make or break race.
“Those are critical points in a championship and I think Silverstone was a critical point for Lewis and Mercedes.”
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Hill believes some of the success can be attributed to the car upgrades that Mercedes brought to Silverstone.
“The thing is they turned up with some good little mods on that car,” Hill explained.
“Just as we thought that they’d stopped developing, they’d had some extra little tweaks that seemed to have given just enough downforce to the car that meant they could run less wing that made Lewis’s car much faster in a straight line.
“Not much, three kilometers, but fast enough. That made them much more competitive. I think Red Bull were surprised by that.”
However, Hill believes the upgrades didn’t play the main role in Mercedes’ success.
“Ultimately [they] won it because of Lewis, Lewis gave them that victory, he adopted the right approach,” concluded the Briton.