Mercedes have 'grave concern' as Lewis Hamilton dealt harsh reality by Martin Brundle - 'Very worrying'

Mercedes have 'grave concern' as Lewis Hamilton dealt harsh reality by Martin Brundle - 'Very worrying'

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 11/04/2024

- 12:07

The Silver Arrows have had a hugely underwhelming first four races in 2024

Martin Brundle has opened up on the 'grave concern' Mercedes face after a hugely disappointing start to 2024.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell once again struggled in Japan last weekend to compound a miserable start to the season.

Mercedes currently sit fourth in the Constructor Standings, already a huge 107 points behind reigning champions Red Bull.

Hamilton finished ninth at Suzuka, with team-mate Russell seventh, after both crashed out of the previous race in Melbourne.

Lewis Hamilton

Martin Brundle says Mercedes have a 'grave concern' in failing to understand their car


Hamilton, in his final season at Mercedes, was positive after practice last week but was unable to see the results on race day.

Brundle isn't sure what the issue is but says it will be of major concern to those at Mercedes.

He said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast: "They've got to understand this car and I think that's a grave concern for all of the people there.

"There's a lot of very clever people, with a huge amount of resources, performance tools and budget.

"I'm not going to try and second guess what's wrong with it, or state what I think is wrong with it, because if they don't know, then I certainly don't know."

Mercedes have won just one race in the last two seasons when Russell triumphed in Sao Paulo in 2022.

Brundle says the Silver Arrows have not been able to adapt to the regulations brought in two years ago and has dealt a harsh reality to Hamilton that things may not get better soon.

He said: "They cannot get a handle on these ground-effect cars. This is the third season of these regulations.

"They turn up, they think they have aced it, a lot of positive noises, and then it still bounces a little bit with the porpoising.

"But their problem is, from time to time, the thing performs beautifully and they are really quite fast in phases.

"But, they can't seem to reproduce that session to session, let alone day to day, let alone Grand Prix to Grand Prix.

"This is the problem they have got - this knife edge of a car that sometimes looks like they have finally sorted it and more of the time they just can't understand it.


Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has had a difficult start to his final season at Mercedes


"When you've got that, when all of your tools and all your clever people don't correlate with the stopwatch and the performance of other cars on the track, and you can't seem to nail it down, then that's really frustrating and I would say very worrying."

Toto Wolff tried to look for the positives when speaking to the press after Sunday's race in Japan.

But Karun Chandhok believes the Austrian team principal is feeling the heat, saying: "I think he's a man who's frustrated.

"The best Mercedes was 45 seconds off the win but if we take the Red Bulls out of it, they were still 25 seconds behind the best non-Red Bull, which is a huge amount in a Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton finished ninth at the Japanese Grand Prix


"Toto made an interesting comment to Ted [Kravitz] after the race, where he said the first stint was terrible and after that, it was not so bad.

"I looked back at some of the numbers and it's little bit better, but in the first stint, they lost 11 seconds to [Carlos] Sainz in 15 laps, which is three-quarters of a second nearly.

"After that, they still lost on average about 0.6 per lap. So it was a little bit better, but not a lot better.

"So I think they were the comments of a frustrated man, who has come off a tremendous run of success and is again staring at another season, of the team that he co-owns, unlikely to win the World Championship.

"That's not the standards that he's used to or expects, I think, from the team."

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