Formula 1: Mika Hakkinen offers Mercedes prediction as Hamilton & Bottas eye British GP response

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Finnish Formula 1 icon Mika Hakkinen has backed Mercedes to respond at the British Grand Prix next weekend with them losing more ground in their championship fights in Austria last time out.

The Silver Arrows have gone five races without a Grand Prix victory and in that time they have seen Red Bull sweep up the win each time, with Max Verstappen taking four and Sergio Perez the other.

Certainly, the Bulls are on the charge right now and Mercedes appear on the back foot, with them behind in both the Drivers' and Constructors' standings as things are at this moment in time.

However, there will be hopes of a response at Silverstone next weekend, with it a track that has been kind to them in the past, and Mika Hakkinen believes that things should be closer at the British Grand Prix, too, with him suggesting that things were not as bad as they seemed at the Red Bull Ring last Sunday.

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"I agree with [Toto] Wolff that the situation at Mercedes is not as bad as it seemed in Austria. Lewis Hamilton would probably have finished second if the underside of his car had not been damaged on lap 30," Hakkinen said in his column for Unibet.

"Many seemed surprised that the underside of an F1 car is so important. However, the fact is that the aerodynamics of the underside are very important, even more important than the wings".

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas did a decent job in damage limitation with second place on Sunday. "He took the maximum points that could be gained. He was strong and finished second. I think Lewis and him will be stronger at Silverstone."

"Their car will be a bit better suited to the circuit if all goes well and in addition, Lewis will be keen for his own fans. Max is in form though, so it will be another exciting fight."

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