Mercedes & Red Bull target summer break lead at Hungarian GP

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Mercedes and Red Bull have eyes on leading both Formula 1 championships heading into the summer break following this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Tensions between the top two teams are at an all-time high after the controversial incident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Silverstone just over a week ago, with the fallout from that clash potentially continuing in Budapest.

Even so, the British GP was a big weekend for Mercedes and Hamilton, with the gaps in the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships just four and eight points respectively in Red Bull and Verstappen's favour.

But while the German manufacturer was back on form at Silverstone, the sweeping curves of the Hungaroring are a very different challenge.

“[Silverstone] is one of our best tracks, so it would be naive for us to think we can go [to Hungary] and expect to carry this performance in,” said Mercedes engineer chief Andrew Shovlin.

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“Red Bull are going to be good at a high-downforce circuit. Frankly, they're good at every circuit at the moment and they're going to be a bit bruised after the experience [in Britain], so I'm sure they're going to come back really strong.

“But we're about halfway through the championship, there's very fine margins in terms of the points, and for us, we're just going to throw everything at it now to try and get through it.”

While Red Bull will start as the favourites, that's not stopping Mercedes from targeting another big result.

“If we can get ourselves ahead [in the championship] going into the summer break, that would be fantastic,” said Shovlin. “So that's probably the target we'll set ourselves.

“It's a stretch target, but we’ve shown [at Silverstone] that everything's possible – you've just got to keep going, try and get better, try and improve.

"They're a difficult team to beat, but I think we're a strong team and we'll be putting everything into it to try and win.”

After Silverstone, Red Bull have been reeling over a crash estimated to have cost the team $1.8m according to team boss Christian Horner, while a pursuit for further action against Hamilton hasn't been ruled out.

On the track though, there is only one focus... moving forward.

“Despite being battered and bruised, he will be more motivated on track," the Briton said of Verstappen via

"The positives we can take from the British GP weekend are that last year, we qualified a second off Mercedes and this year, we were within a tenth.

"We had a faster race car and we were able to beat them in the Sprint Race which shows that the team’s monumental effort with the support of Honda, has allowed us to close the gap to the seven-time world champions and the pressure is on them.

“Hungary will be a different challenge for the car and the team and we will all be fully motivated to retain our championship lead.

"Max won’t dwell on anything from Silverstone and wants to do his talking on-track. He is determined to put this incident behind him and use it as added motivation for the rest of the season, as are we.”