Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff believes a greater threat from its rivals in engine performance will force the team to “reinvent” itself in this area.
The dawn of the V6 turbo-charged hybrid era in 2014 saw Mercedes dominate from the outset with its power unit significantly more advanced than its competitors.
In recent times however, the Brackley-based outfit has faced increased competition from Ferrari and Red Bull in the F1 engine battle.
Ferrari opted to move away from its usual design philosophy this year and instead focused on power gains, which has seen it forge an advantage in straight-line speed, while Red Bull is gaining ground after a switch to Honda power in 2019.
“The Red Bull chassis was always among the best and it still is,” Wolff said, as quoted by Crash.net.
“And then Honda has made a big step forward from last year to this year and all credit to them.
“I am happy to see that for Formula 1 because a strong Honda is good for Formula 1 and good for the competition and in the end, if there is a fourth power unit supplier that has a competitive edge then there is generally positives for all of us.
“It also shows us that we have got to reinvent ourselves in a way and I see this as a really positive challenge.”
Red Bull’s progress was apparent in Hungary before the summer break when Max Verstappen pipped Valtteri Bottas to pole position by 0.018s.
Bottas insisted Honda’s improvements on its power unit would act as a motivation for Mercedes in the long run, a thought echoed by Wolff.
“I think he’s damn right. We had a good streak of success and it feels now that probably the push that we need to do is even bigger,” Wolff added.
“The others are catching up and it’s easier to catch up than to maintain the level and set the benchmark, and there is a reason why nobody has ever won six consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ championships, because it is not easy.
“I guess we all know that but we have got to push harder and smarter in order to stay ahead.”