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The reality Mercedes faces with the W14

Lewis Hamilton managed to score his first pole position since 2021 at the Hungarian Grand Prix but the race proved Mercedes are still facing a tough up hill battle.

Lewis Hamilton pits for Mercedes during the Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton may have scored his first pole position since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but Mercedes face a completely different Hungarian Grand Prix where they struggled to the very few last laps when they finally had pace again. Even though Hamilton started first it is hard to say that he would have been able to keep his position through out the race with Max Verstappen once again driving out of this world in his Red Bul RB19.

Towards the end of the race it looked like Mercedes had once again came alive with low fuel and fresh medium tyres but it was too little too late. He closed onto the back of Sergio Perez with two laps to go but not enough time to have a real go at a move on the Mexican driver. The reality Mercedes faces is the pace of the car itslef. On Saturday in qualifying the team did have a quick car but it was Hamilton that outperformed the car on put it on pole by just 0.003s as he oversteered through the final two corners showing what a handful the car can be.

Lewis Hamilton celebrating pole position with the Mercedes mechanics at the Hungarian Grand Prix

So what was wrong with the Mercedes during the Hungarian Grand Prix?

After the race Hamilton said that he struggled with the Mercedes W14 struggled throughout the first stint. The British driver said in the media afterwards that the balance of the car was really inconsistent struggling with both understeer and oversteer on a high fuel load.

Talking to the media Hamilton had this to say, “I think it's obvious that we're not the quickest. We don't have the quickest car but I'm really proud of myself and the job that we did to get pole position and outperform the world champion and the other two cars that were quicker than us.

“Today [in the race] it's just reality. The reality is we're not fast enough. They already told me at a strategy [meeting] this morning, I would be at least five tenths slower than the Red Bull. So the fight was not with Max, but I was hoping that we could fight the McLarens. But then McLaren was too quick for us also.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff went onto compared the Red Bull to a F1 car while the rest of the grid was F2 cars. Mercedes were hoping to take the fight to the reigning champions but nothing came of it during the run down to turn 1. The pace of the Red Bull allowed Verstappen to finish 33 seconds ahead of second placed Lando Norris which was the largest winning margain since the 2021 Russian Grand Prix that was effected by rain in the final stages.

The race in Hungary certainly proved that Mercedes are still facing an uphill battle and are now looking to be the third fastest car behind McLaren.

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