James Allison says he’ll shed a tear or two if Mercedes win the British Grand Prix but concedes the best the team can probably hope for it is a “credible showing with a car that’s on the mend”.
Mercedes have yet to win a single grand prix in their bouncing W13, the Brackley squad’s best result in the all-new ground effect aerodynamic era being a spate of P3s.
They achieved the fifth of those last time out at the Canadian Grand Prix on a Sunday that was without a doubt Mercedes’ best of this season.
But what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Throughout this season the eight-times Constructors’ Championship champions have struggled to maintain forward momentum with George Russell saying every time they solve a problem, a different one arises.
Mercedes, though, head home to Silverstone cautiously optimistic about their chances at one of F1’s fastest circuits.
“Everyone in our factory doesn’t dare say it but we are cautiously optimistic of having a more competitive weekend than some of those we’ve had of late,” Allison, Mercedes chief technical officer, told Sky F1.
“I think some characteristics of this circuit will suit this car but 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 than I think we have a decent chance of a competitive showing this weekend.
“And maybe if the Red Bulls stumble who knows, but I am hopeful, hopeful of a better weekend.”
The team will introduce upgrades for the W13 at their home race in the hope of pushing the car “forward”.
Such has been Mercedes’ form this season that Hamilton has equalled his longest-ever run without a race win, 10, and if he doesn’t win at Silverstone it will be a new record for the Briton.
Allison admits he’ll be very emotional if either the seven-time World Champion or Russell takes the chequered flag on Sunday.
“Absolutely, well I’d cry,” he said. “It would be a fantastic thing.
“I’ve just got my fingers crossed that we’ll have a credible showing with a car that’s on the mend.”
Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ standings with 188 points, 40 behind Ferrari but 116 behind championship leaders Red Bull.
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