Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes needs to perform at the highest level if they want to beat Red Bull at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Although Mercedes dominated the first two races of the 2020 season (both at the Red Bull Ring in Austria), the F1 circus now moves to Hungaroring, a very different track. Lewis Hamilton believes the Red Bulls will provide a “good battle” there.
“It is naturally different to last year’s circuit being that here it’s not a power demanding circuit, it’s more about the downforce efficiency,” said Hamilton at the Thursday press conference.
“If you look at the previous years, the Red Bull has generally gone well. They tend to do even better on the circuits like this and Monaco, where it’s all about the downforce package.
“So, it will definitely close up the whole field and it’s going to be a real challenge and a good battle.
“We already saw some great performance from them during practice in Austria and I think they are still very strong in the race, and here even more so.
“So we really need to bring our A-Game this weekend.”
Hamilton already has seven wins at the Hungaroring and if he wins this weekend, he will match Michael Schumacher’s record for most wins at a single circuit (the German scored eight wins at Magny Cours). But which of Hamilton’s wins in Hungary is his favourite?
“I’d have to pinpoint probably my first one with the team here in 2013. I think that was the first win of the year with Mercedes and was significant in that they took, I wouldn’t say a risk, but there was a risk on both sides from the team’s point of view and my point of view moving into this new stage of my career.
“And then you know a team that I think was fifth or sixth best at the time to then get a win, already in our first year was then pretty exceptional,” concluded the Briton.
His team-mate Valtteri Bottas expects Mercedes “to be strong” at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas said he is keen to see how Mercedes compares to its rivals on a high downforce circuit.
“This is a very different type of circuit and we’ve only raced in one track up to now, so we’ve only seen how the teams and the cars have performed in one particular track,” Bottas explained.
“But we’ve got many races to go through and it will be nice to see how it actually compares.
“So far it’s only speculation but it’s a fact there’s fewer straights on this track, more corners and more downforce required. I think typically Red Bull has been quick on the type of corners this track offers, so we’ll see.
“It was, of course, encouraging to see the pace we had, and we expect to be strong here. I’m just keen to finally see on Saturday and Sunday how do we compare to the others in this type of track.”