Toto Wolff sends warning to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of Belgian GP

Mercedes have made considerable progress over the past few races.

Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff doesn’t see his side winning races anytime soon, with the Austrian warning his team to “be careful” and not become disillusioned with their incredible performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows are still searching for their first win of the season, something which will be their prime focus for the second half of the year.

Mercedes have won at least one race every year since 2012, but this winning streak looks at serious risk of coming to an end.

The German team have improved considerably over recent rounds, with the team having managed a double podium at the last two races.

READ: Can Lewis Hamilton help Mercedes beat Ferrari to second?

Sir Lewis Hamilton alone is on a run of five consecutive podium finishes, with the seven-time World Champion looking the most likely to claim a victory for the team this season.

George Russell claimed the team’s first pole of the season at the Hungaroring, but ultimately didn’t have the pace to convert it into his first race win.

Mercedes are certainly getting closer to having race-winning pace; however, Wolff remains convinced that his side have catching up to do still.

“I think we need to be careful it’s not specific to Budapest that we just landed in the perfect window,” Wolff warned.

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“The other teams, Ferrari especially in qualifying, complained about the tyres not being where they should have been. So in my personal opinion, we are still lacking to the front-runners.

“But at least we were in the same race,” he noted.

“I don’t want to say now suddenly we are right bang into the game and we can win races because I don’t think that’s the case.

“I think we landed it well in Budapest on Saturday and we are reaping the results [in the race]. But I don’t think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to really fight them as yet, but lots of learning and it’s important to get it wrong also.”

The Brackley-based side have been behind all season so far, after having to work out a solution to their relentless porpoising problem.

Ferrari and Red Bull Racing haven’t suffered the bouncing phenomena to the same extent as the Silver Arrows, allowing them to focus on their car’s lap-time.

Mercedes are only just starting to do this, with the side having to sort out their bouncing issue first.

It’s “overshadowed” all of Mercedes’ upgrades, with Wolff revealing that they are a “few months” behind in development of the W13.

“Our biggest weakness from the get-go was that our car was bouncing, the famous porpoising,” Wolff said.

“And it meant that this was overshadowing all our development.

“We couldn’t really develop the car aerodynamically and put good updates on because the more downforce we had on the car, the worse the bouncing was.

“But I think since Barcelona we have understood better and now going into shutdown the car has no porpoising anymore. But having said that, we are missing a few months of development and this is really where we’re playing a catch-up game with the guys in front.”

This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix looks set to be a fascinating one, with the FIA’s technical directive set to be introduced.

This will see all teams have to keep their amount of porpoising within a set range, with the FIA having designed a metric of what is deemed as safe, and what is deemed as a health risk to the drivers.

As a result, some teams will be forced into raising their cars, something which could bunch the field up somewhat.

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“It will be very interesting to see what we see at Spa,” added the Mercedes boss.

“Let’s see if the difference in ride height makes a difference for the teams that ride so low.

“But I no longer believe in the ‘silver bullet’, as they say, that we will then suddenly be three tenths faster than everyone else, but in any case it will be interesting.”