World championship leader Lewis Hamilton is worried that the looming summer break could leave his McLaren team on the back foot in its title ambitions, because rivals Red Bull Racing and Ferrari appear to have edged ahead in terms of pace.
Formula 1 teams have to close down for two weeks over the imminent break -- which means staff cannot work on improving their cars for much of the period before the next race in Belgium. It means that those teams that are enjoying current strong form are likely to maintain that edge for the foreseeable future.
And with Hamilton having said prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix that he reckoned McLaren had slipped back to the third fastest team, it means there is little hope of his team being able to make a dramatic leap forward prior to the Spa-Francorchamps event.
"It is a concern but there is nothing we can do about it, so I just have focus on doing the best job I have with what I have," Hamilton told AUTOSPORT. "There is nothing I can do.
"Everything shuts down; they [Red Bull Racing and Ferrari] are in a good position where they have a good car already. They will come back and the car is still the same, whereas we would love to improve the car."
McLaren duo Hamilton and Jenson Button reckon the best they can hope for in Hungary this weekend is a podium finish with the track's bumpy and twisty nature not ideally suited to the strengths of the MP4-25. Hamilton reckoned that his squad just has to hope that rivals hit reliability or operational trouble to help him maintain his and his team's edge in the championship standings.
"You can't overtake here," he said. "The important thing is to get as many points as we can and hope that some people have more reliability problems than we do. If Red Bull had finished all the races where they started they would be miles ahead, but they haven't. They have had reliability problems and made some mistakes and we've capitalized on it."
With fresh rumblings about potential flexing of the Red Bull Racing and Ferrari emerging in the Hungaroring paddock, Hamilton has expressed his surprise that the issue has only flared up now.
"I've seen the wings flex, but they have been flexing for the whole year," he said. "I don't know why it's an issue now, but they've been doing it since China. You see it onboard and they showed analysis here this weekend."