Mercedes Using F1 Rule Change Excuse as a ‘Distraction’ From Their Struggles: Martin Brundle

Published 04/11/2021, 12:29 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff before practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Mercedes have been on the back foot for the last few weeks. Although they took away the victory in the season-opener, they don’t look like the favorites to win the title this year. However, rather than pointing the finger at themselves, they have been accusing the FIA of trying to slow them down. But reputed F1 Pundit and ex-driver Martin Brundle is not buying into that theory.

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The FIA, the sport’s governing body, introduced the 2021 technical regulations that required the teams to carry over 50% of their chassis from the last season. However, they also mandated the teams to make changes to their floor in a bid to reduce downforce by 10%.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and third placed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas FIA/Handout via REUTERS

This affected Mercedes and Aston Martin heavily – the teams that follow a low-rake concept. Lewis Hamilton, in particular, saw it as an attack on their dominance. Though Martin Brundle believes that they are simply hiding behind their own shortcoming.

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“I think this thing with the angles of attack is a distraction. I think the Mercedes is just not working that well at the moment.”

On the other hand, their title rivals, Red Bull, have substantially improved their car. The RB16B is a step up in both the chassis and engine department, “Red Bull and Honda work very well, like few others currently.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in third place Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Wouldn’t underestimate Mercedes: Martin Brundle

Despite their supposed struggles, Mercedes emerged on top in Bahrain. Moreover, Brundle expects them to bounce back and show some improvements in Imola.

“The rules mean that you can no longer bring updates every week, as you did before. But Mercedes will do it. Hamilton and Mercedes are still the combination that can be beaten in the fight for the world title applies… I wouldn’t underestimate Mercedes,” said Brundle.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

It is also important to acknowledge the contribution of Lewis Hamilton. The Briton was the key difference-maker in their victory – “Hamilton was absolutely unbelievable, for me, he won a race that anyone else would have lost.”

The onus is now on Red Bull to convert their promise into race wins. They have to take their chances when Mercedes are not in their best moment.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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