LEWIS HAMILTON and Mercedes have struggled to compete for wins this season as they lack the pace to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari.
Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton is set for a “big upgrade” which could give Mercedes a chance of picking up race wins before the end of the season, according to F1 legend Juan Pablo Montoya. The former McLaren and Williams star claims Mercedes is still going to “get better against everybody else” as they will be able to “out-develop” other teams.
It could be a threat to Red Bull star Max Verstappen’s chances of beating Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in an F1 season. The Dutchman has eight victories to his name so far this season in a dominant display from the Red Bull team, partly helped by Ferrari’s struggles.
But Mercedes are said to have been working on something ‘big’ during the break to give Hamilton and George Russell a huge chance of beating their Red Bull and Ferrari rivals. Speaking to Vegas Insider, Montoya said: “The other big question mark is coming out of the break, the rumour is that Mercedes has a big, big upgrade coming for their cars.
“And, if that is the case, Mercedes really comes up with a car, which is really cool to see from Mercedes. I think everybody is going to come up with big upgrades. Mercedes is still gonna get better, against everybody else, but everybody else in the field is gonna stay very constant. Because they all keep developing and making the cars better to drive, easier to drive.
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Lewis Hamilton could be set for major upgrades (Image: Getty)
“Everybody is getting a little more comfortable with the new package, and understanding the new package. So I think the way everybody is developing the cars is going to be very similar, but I still think that Mercedes out-develops everybody else. That is my two cents.”
Mercedes have enjoyed a resurgence in form in recent races as they move closer to the frontrunners of Red Bull and Ferrari. Hamilton has picked up five consecutive podium finishes since the Canadian Grand Prix, including back-to-back P2 results in France and Hungary.
The Silver Arrows have also appeared more competitive in qualifying with George Russell securing pole in Budapest. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggests the team had nine opportunities to “find improvements” and “make progress” in their challenge to the frontrunners.
Montoya stresses Mercedes are unlikely to challenge for the Constructors’ Championship at this stage of the season but could secure race wins if their development is good.
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Juan Pablo Montoya claims Mercedes could still win races this season (Image: Getty)
It means Hamilton is likely to hold onto his record of winning a Grand Prix in every season he has competed in F1.
Montoya explained: “The question is, is Mercedes’ step so big that they start winning every race, and they are going to win the last nine races, and they are going to do one, two, seven or eight times, and you know, they have a shot at the Constructor Championship, while everybody else fumbles? Or their step is, ok, we are starting to fight against Red Bull and Mercedes, and we are just there?
“That is the more realistic version of what I see coming. I see Mercedes might have a shot at winning a couple of races this year if their developing goes well. You gotta remember that it is not Mercedes developing and everybody else staying still. Everybody is working, everybody thinks their development and their ideas are the best.”