Mercedes chief Allison 'cautiously optimistic' ahead of Silverstone

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Mercedes are "cautiously optimistic" of competing at Silverstone with a car that, according to their chief technical officer, is "definitely on the mend".

It has been a difficult Formula One season for Mercedes, who sit third in the constructors' standings, 116 points off pace-setters Red Bull.

While new boy George Russell has performed well and sits fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 111 points – 64 behind leader Max Verstappen – seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is down in sixth.

Hamilton has struggled to adapt to Mercedes' new car and often been unable to hide his frustration with the vehicle's performance, though he did manage a third-place finish in Montreal last time out.

Third is the best Mercedes have achieved in any race in 2022, with Russell achieving it in Spain, Azerbaijan and Australia, and Hamilton clinching the final podium place in Bahrain as well as Canada.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Mercedes' CTO James Allison believes the team are finding a way to be competitive following two successive podium finishes.

He told Sky Sports: "Everyone in our factory doesn't dare say it, but we're cautiously optimistic of having a more competitive weekend than some of those we've had of late.

"I think some of the characteristics of this circuit will suit the car. We don't have a car capable of winning from the front yet. But I think as long as we can get the car tamed through Maggots Becketts and around the faster of the corners, then I think we have a decent chance of a competitive showing, and maybe if the Red Bulls stumble, who knows, but I'm hopeful of a better weekend."

When it was put to him that victory at Silverstone would be an emotional one, Allison quipped: "Absolutely, well I'd cry!

"It'd be a fantastic thing. I've just got my fingers crossed that we'll have a creditable showing with a car that is definitely on the mend."

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    Espargaro returned for Saturday's qualifying session and secured sixth place, taking his place on the second row on Sunday following doubts over whether he would be fit to race.

    The 33-year-old was unable to compete for the win but secured a ninth-placed finish, picking up seven points and coming in just behind title rival Fabio Quartararo – who he trails by 22 points in the standings.

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    With Espargaro carrying an injury and Quartararo having to serve a long-lap penalty, Francesco Bagnaia took the victory at Silverstone for the second race in a row to boost his title hopes.

    The MotoGP season continues from August 19-21 in Austria.

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    Verstappen, having pitted, then completed an overtake of a defenceless Hamilton at the restart to clinch his maiden title.

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    "I hope I will be in good form again in Austria, because what I could feel during this weekend and even during the race helped me to grow on the Ducati and get even more feeling as I want," he added.

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