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“And you can’t just suddenly change technical regulations halfway through a season. If a car is dangerous, a team shouldn’t field it: it has that choice. Or the FIA, if they feel an individual car is dangerous, they always have a black flag at their disposal.”

Hamilton overcame a disastrous practice session in which he complained that his car was “undriveable” and that updates made to the W13 were a “disaster”. The Briton – who has generally finished in the middle pack this season – was delighted with his podium finish, while Russell came fourth on an improved day for Mercedes. 

But Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was keen to manage expectations. He said: “Everybody is in a good space but there’s lots of work to do. One swallow doesn’t make a summer. We saw that swallow in Barcelona but somehow it flew somewhere else. Today, at times, we were with the quickest cars. 

“On the second stint, Lewis and George were almost matching the frontrunners, but we’re not yet there. Now we should manage our own expectations and really grind away, look at the data and come up with some sensible solutions for Silverstone going forward.”

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