Mercedes can stage comeback mission if they do three things at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Paul di Resta has issued a call to Mercedes outlining how the faltering F1 giants can turn around their dwindling fortunes in Baku. The Lewis Hamilton-led giants have struggled with porpoising, bouncing and speed, but have been told there could be an opportunity in Azerbaijan. Di Resta believes fine-tuning their approach with regard to these key areas will produce the fruits of success.

However, di Resta, who previously raced for Force India and Williams, believes Mercedes can perform in Azerbaijan if they make those key adjustments despite the circuit not favouring the Mercedes cars. “It’s got some corners, it’s the same speed as Monaco”, the British driver explained to Sky Sports News. “Which I guess is not where the Mercedes is at its strongest, you need a very different car when you come here.

“Low downforce, is that going to bring the bouncing back? The bouncing they have had, the porpoising they couldn’t control. If they can control it here I firmly believe that if that is fixed they go on.

“If they can influence the speed that they had in Barcelona they can be a contender, just in the nature of how this track is.

“This really sets the season up, I think where you perform here at this point in the year dictates how much philosophy you put into this year. I hope for the sake of the sport that Mercedes are in it because that means we are back in business, and we have got a three-way fight all the way until the end.”

Mercedes have been way off the pace this season and find themselves trailing to Red Bull and Ferrari in the driver and constructors’ standings. Hamilton has set Mercedes a target of the British Grand Prix as the point where he wants to be challenging for podiums but now has to battle with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez who launched himself into championship contention with victory in Monaco.

“It is quite incredible to think that Sergio Perez is in there,” di Resta added. “Off the back of that win and the consistency he has had and I think the projection of Red Bull, if you look at the philosophy, the races they have managed to win this year has been on low downforce.

“This will warrant that with a very good sector three for them but of course the Ferraris are very good in the corners, you have got plenty of those to get around here but I guess it is who is up for the fight and getting into the sweet spot here.

“You need to be brave in qualifying but equally if you step over the line you find the walls very easy, but it’s very interesting and I don’t think the story of the weekend will be won on Friday, you will see how it plays out at the end of Sunday.”

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