Mercedes will have a “number of challenges to overcome” in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix because they did not attend the young driver test at Silverstone, according to the team’s executive director Toto Wolff.
The Brackley-based team were banned from taking part in last week’s three-day test because they breached the rules by holding a test in Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
That meant that Mercedes, unlike their 10 rival teams, were not able to gain experience of the new specification of Pirelli tyre which will be introduced at the Hungaroring in response to a series of blow-outs at the British Grand Prix.
The revised tyre is based on the 2012 construction with a Kevlar belt so teams will already have had a lot of data on them already, even before the Silverstone test. Mercedes will also receive the data Pirelli collected from the 10 teams that did take part in the test.
However, Wolff is still concerned that Mercedes, who have struggled with tyre wear on their car for a number of years now, will still struggle, particularly with high track temperatures predicted this weekend.
He said: “We are under no illusions this weekend in Hungary that we have a number of challenges to overcome. First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tyres work with our car.
“Then we will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres. During the race at the Nurburgring, we were overheating the tyres and we want to minimise the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high.
“The team has worked thoroughly since Germany to improve the situation and we will find out how the new tyres will affect that situation, too.
“We go into the race weekend with two victories and six pole positions under our belt. Our motivation is high to score a good result that we can take into the summer break but we know there is plenty of good work needed to achieve that.”