Former F1 driver, Martin Brundle, gave his opinion on Mercedes’ current situation, as he thinks the rake height debate is a ‘distraction’ to the real issues Mercedes is encountering at the moment.
The last Grand Prix weekend was a real gift to F1 fans as it displayed a very close battle for the lead until the very last lap of the race between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The British driver came out victorious, after yet another great debate concerning track limits.
After this first outing for the 2021 factory-fresh single-seaters, it was generally agreed by fans and by most of the grid that high-raked cars seemed to have lost less performance, compared to last year, than low-raked cars like the Mercedes W12 or the AMR21. It was therefore very easy to come to the conclusion that low-raked cars were suffering from aerodynamical instability and a loss of downforce like we have already mentioned in a previous article.
Nonetheless, former F1 driver, Martin Brundle, does not want to take rushed conclusions and does not think that the rake height of the W12 is the only issue that caused them to be relegated behind Red Bull in terms of performance.
Indeed, the Briton thinks that Mercedes is not working as well as it used to, in opposition to the Honda-Red Bull pair that seems to be working exceptionally well together this season.
“I think the rake thing is a little bit of a distraction and I think Mercedes is not really working that well at the moment (…), Red Bull and Honda are working particularly well, as are a few other cars,” Brundle told Motorsport.com.
However, the 61-years-old thinks the situation is far from being desperate for the Brackley-based team as Martin Brundle is confident they will improve and will not let Red Bull break their championship-winning streak so easily. The Briton also defends his fellow countryman, Lewis Hamilton, saying that his pairing with Mercedes is still the “combo to beat”.
“I wouldn’t underestimate Mercedes. I mean everybody is talking about rake and how it has damaged Mercedes and therefore Aston Martin, but unless I’m mistaken, a Mercedes won the race in Bahrain with Red Bull have dominated the last race [in Abu Dhabi] last year.”
“I think it will be really close, they will sort the Mercedes out. (…) Hamilton was absolutely magnificent in Bahrain and for me, he won the race as much as anybody else lost it, or any team lost it,” he added.
Like a big part of the motorsports world at the moment, Martin Brundle strongly believes this year’s championship battle will be one of the closest we have had for years and keeps it real, admitting he has no clue who is going to come out on top in Imola, for the next Grand Prix weekend.
“I really don’t know who will be best around Imola and that is the wonderful thing about live sport.”