Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes must ‘find some performance from somewhere’ after Red Bull rout at Styrian GP

Lewis Hamilton concedes Mercedes have not currently “got an answer” to the speed of Red Bull and must “find some performance from somewhere” after being beaten for the fourth race in succession by their championship rivals at the Styrian GP.

In the starkest example yet of how the performance pendulum in 2021 is swinging from reigning world champions to the title challengers, Max Verstappen led comfortably from lights to flag for his fourth win in eight races this season.

“I was trying to keep up but the speed they have, they’ve obviously made some big improvements over the last couple of races,” said Hamilton after finishing a distant second.

“It’s impossible to keep up.”

Mercedes had appeared level, if not ahead, of Red Bull on race pace at Paul Ricard last week but the W12 had no answer for the championship-leading RB16B around the short but fast Red Bull Ring circuit.

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“I did say it [Red Bull’s pace advantage] was around a quarter of a second, I think it was probably that on average at least – even three or four tenths,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports F1.

“It was pretty impressive speed that they had.

“There was nothing I could do; I was giving it absolutely everything. I don’t know really where they were gaining all that speed, I think it was everywhere in general, but particularly on the straights as far as I’m aware.

“They’ve definitely made some big steps the last couple of races and we’ve not really got an answer for it.”

Red Bull, who introduced fresh versions of their 2021 Honda engine two races ago in Baku after Mercedes moved onto their second units of the year the race before, have successfully run a lower-downforce rear wing on their RB16B to help straight-line-speed seemingly without compromising cornering performance.

Mercedes’ chances of a fightback this year are compromised by the fact the team have already switched their main development focus to F1’s rules revolution of 2022.

“We’ve not brought any upgrades; I don’t remember the last time we had an upgrade,” added Hamilton. “But they have. They’ve brought the engine upgrade and they’ve brought some other part of the package and it’s just eeked them ahead.

“Whilst there’s a really long way to go, with speed like that we’ve not really got much that we can do. I don’t know, we’ve just got to keep pushing. I’ve got confidence in the team we’ll somehow find something.”

Hamilton also said: “We need an upgrade of some sort. We need to find some performance from somewhere.”

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