NEW MERCEDES BOOST WITH ‘SWEET SPOT’ DISCOVERY TIPPED TO MAKE ‘ALL THE DIFFERENCE’

Winning the British Grand Prix on merit, Robert Doornbos believes Mercedes have found the “sweet spot” with W15 and that will make “all the difference” to their season.

Although Sunday’s victory at the Silverstone circuit wasn’t Mercedes’ first of the season, that honour having gone to George Russell one week earlier in Austria, it was the first win based purely on pace.

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While in Austria, Russell benefitted from Max Verstappen and Lando Norris’ lap 64 clash, at Silverstone it was the full Mercedes package – car, strategy and driver – that clinched the win.

Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag 1.4s ahead of Max Verstappen to bag his first Grand Prix victory in 945 days.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff dubbed it an “honest win” based on real pace.

And it could, Doornbos believes, be the turning point in the Brackley squad’s season.

“It took a while at Mercedes, but they still have the people in-house who can do it,” Doornbos told Motorsport.com of the team’s progress.

“You also get drunk from lots of small sips! They took a lot of small steps and at a certain point found the ‘sweet spot’ of the car.

“Then you suddenly gain three-tenths, just like McLaren, which can make all the difference in the current season.”

Wolff singled out Mercedes technical director James Allison as being the one who led the team to that “moment” when suddenly the data made sense.

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The former F1 driver applauded a resolute Hamilton, who fought through “many thoughts and doubts” to win at Silverstone.

The victory was his ninth at the Northamptonshire track, a new F1 record for the most wins at a single circuit, and his 150th podium for Mercedes.

“Lewis has also had his fair share of sh*t thrown at him,” Doornbos said.

“After deciding to leave Mercedes last winter, he naturally hoped to end his time with the team on a high note. You don’t have complete control over that.

“But by winning his home race for the ninth time – and setting a new record for the number of victories in the same Grand Prix – he has now provided that great ending.

“It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Ralf Schumacher says Hamilton has silenced his detractors as he is clearly “back”.

“There have been voices saying that his time may have run out, that he is getting too old, that Ferrari may be annoyed about their decision,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“But now everything is back to square one – Hamilton is back. Stories like this are the beauty of motorsport and Formula 1.”

Mercedes have outscored their rivals in the five races since the introduction of flexi front wing, the Brackley squad bringing in 142 points, but they remain P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.

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2024-07-10T14:24:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd