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Red Bull opened up "another advantage" with latest F1 upgrade – Wolff

Mercedes thinks Red Bull has opened up "another advantage" in Formula 1 off the back of its recent Hungary upgrade.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Just as Red Bull’s rivals appeared to be closing in on F1’s benchmark squad, Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez were gifted a step forward in pace with an overhaul of their RB19 for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The winning margins since the update landed have been above 30 seconds over the nearest non-Red Bull car, putting it back on a par with where it started the season.

The changes to the sidepods and floor were teed up as being mainly for reliability and cooling reasons, but rivals have no doubts that it has helped make the car quicker.

PLUS: Why the roots of Red Bull's F1 domination go back to its wilderness years

And that has left squads like Mercedes facing up to the reality that it needs to dig even deeper with its own car designs if it is to have any hope of fighting for wins on pure pace.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that the current domination of F1 by Verstappen was different to when his German manufacturer squad was in front, but that did not make his team’s job any easier in recovering.

“I don't know whether our dominance was similar or less as I think we had years where we did it in the same way, but at least we had two cars that were fighting each other,” he said, after seeing Verstappen pull clear in the Belgian GP.

“So that caused a little bit of entertainment for everyone, and that's not the case at the moment.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“It is what it is and I often say that it's a meritocracy and it's up to us to fight back. Did we expect that gap? Certainly not. I think with the last step of upgrade, it seems they have another advantage that they that were able to exploit.

“But again, it always gets me back to the point of we have just got to dig in and do the best possible job.”

Red Bull has won all 12 races held so far this season, and has surpassed the record for the most consecutive wins by a single team.

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The level of its advantage has prompted many to believe that Red Bull has the prospect of becoming the first team in F1 history to win every race in a season.

Although senior management has previously dismissed any talk of that achievement being on its radar, its motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has now admitted it could be possible to achieve.

Asked by Autosport if winning all 22 races was possible, he said: “If you think logical, then no [because a lot of things can go wrong during a single race weekend]. But we never thought that we could win the first 12 races as well, so why not now I have to say.”

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