Published: 17:29 | 16/8/17

Ferrari still searching for "real pace", says Wolff


Toto Wolff says Ferrari has yet to show its "real pace" despite the Italian team's one-two at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel extended his advantage over Lewis Hamilton in the title race to 14 points at the Hungaroring going into Formula 1's summer break, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen coming in second.

But Mercedes boss Wolff says Vettel was slowed down considerably by his damaged car, and believes there is quicker to come from the four-time world champion when the season resumes in Belgium at the end of August.

The Belgian Grand Prix will be shown live over the weekend of 25-27 August on eir sport in Ireland.

"I don't think we have seen their pace because Sebastian's car was clearly damaged with the steering wheel hanging to the left and you can see that after Sebastian pitted when Kimi was in free air, he was setting very fast sector times," he said.

"If they would have left [Vettel] out [Raikkonen] probably would have overtaken. Equally, although [Red Bull's Max] Verstappen was on a newer tyre he was catching up a lot and somebody told me that [McLaren's Fernando] Alonso was doing the quickest lap time of the race so I don't think we have seen the real Ferrari pace, it was a damaged car."

Vettel is pleased by Ferrari's progression this season, with four wins from 11 races in 2017 after 20 races without a victory in 2016.

Ferrari has particularly thrived, under the 2017 technical regulations, on tight and tricky circuits like the Hungaroring, although Mercedes may regain the initiative on high-speed circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

"It's a fact to say in the last couple of years we didn't have the best car and a fact to say in the last few years we weren't the strongest at developing the car, but I think if you look at the progression this year it is a different story and we keep progressing," the German said.

"We brought a lot of bits, we have seen a lot of bits from other people copying us, but that's a good sign and a testimony to the hard and good work and the achievement that has gone into this car and this project. We will keep pushing flat out."

Photo Getty Images/Mark Thompson

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