Championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both suggested that neither driver possessed any clear performance advantage over the other, following the Dutch Grand Prix.
While Verstappen may have won six of the past nine races, he still said that Mercedes are more competitive than what their recent results may lead the outsider to believe.
“I think you shouldn’t look at stats. I think you should look at the realistic pace, what there was, and not look always at the race result, because I definitely think that they would have won Hungary if everything went normal,” Verstappen said.
“They had pole position in Silverstone – even though of course it didn’t count as a pole position – and they were ahead in Hungary where they definitely had more pace than us, it just looked better,” Verstappen said. “But of course Hungary was a crazy race with whatever happened, with the wet and the start.
“I feel like we still need a bit more, but it’s heading into the right direction. Also, we have to see, there’s still quite a lot of different kind of tracks coming up. So it will definitely swing both ways and we just have to keep on it and keep pushing and keep bringing new bits to the car.”
Hamilton, who lost his recently regained championship lead, stated that despite Mercedes being on par with Red Bull on past occasions, it has nevertheless been a difficult season.
While Mercedes are ahead in the constructor’s championship, the Briton urged to pick up speed should the Silver Arrows hope to win an eighth consecutive championship.
“We just have to keep our heads down, keep working, keep pushing. We are ahead in the team championship, which is great. But of course, we need to pick up some speed if we want to be able to win races in the future,” Hamilton commented.
“We’re trying as hard as we can. But we’ve had a couple of races where it looked like we just about were on par with them or just slightly ahead. But there’s only been a couple of those, and then [they] took a big, big leap and it’s been difficult.
“I guess it’s so close, you can’t really overtake in a lot of these places that we’ve been to probably previously because we are so closely matched.”