George Russell has backed Mercedes to "fight for victories" in the closing stages of the season.
The British driver scored his maiden F1 pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix but could only finish third with Max Verstappen and team-mate Lewis Hamilton able to be more aggressive with the strategies from further back on the grid.
But this final result before the summer shutdown continued a stunning turnaround from the Silver Arrows with both drivers featuring on the podium for the second consecutive weekend.
Speaking before the Budapest weekend, Russell was already bullish on Mercedes' chances in the nine remaining races.
"We're definitely closing that gap, there's no doubt, but the four cars ahead of us certainly have the pace advantage," said Russell.
"There are no doubts about that. But I think, as a team, we're slowly closing the gap."
Russell expecting further upgrades
Mercedes is currently third in the standings but remarkably, trails Ferrari by just 30 points despite the gulf in performance, with both teams having stood on the podium 11 times.
But the team remains in the midst of its longest wait into a season for a race win since 2011 - the last year that Mercedes failed to win at least once.
"Hopefully after the summer break, we'll add some extra things to the car, but as does everybody, so it's not going to be straightforward," Russell added.
"We still believe we can probably fight for victories at some point this season. But I don't think we'll probably ever have the car that will be outright quickest."