Mercedes has no chance of winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, reckon drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
The team had a muted practice day at the Hungaroring, with Hamilton’s sixth place in the afternoon session the high point as Red Bull dominated. Rosberg said the hot conditions were the worst possible scenario for Mercedes, with tire wear in races still its weak point.
“Red Bull looked very, very good today. I don’t think we have the speed this weekend,” he said. “Red Bull seems very quick and some other teams are also going to be quicker than us in the hot conditions of the race. We just need to make the most of it and get a lot of points.
“The hotter it is, the worse it is for us and the more we’re going to struggle. And this is likely to be the hottest race of the year. It’s going to be tough.”
Hungarian GP practice was the first opportunity for Mercedes to try Pirelli’s revised tires as it was banned from the Silverstone test. Hamilton said Mercedes had at least caught up on tire knowledge during Friday.
“We don’t seem to have the pace that we had at the last race but we’ll make some changes tonight and try to understand it,” he said. “We came into the weekend on the back foot trying to understand the tyres, and we did a lot of laps today. We’ve learned quite a lot, we’ve made some changes, and we can make some better changes for tomorrow.”
He agreed with Rosberg that Red Bull was out of reach.
“I was told that on the same laps on long runs, Mark Webber was about eight tenths ahead at some stages, so that’s interesting…” said Hamilton. “Ferrari is competitive, there’s Lotus and then the Red Bull is absolutely ballistic.”