Martin Brundle left red-faced after Mercedes comment

Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position for the 2023 Hungarian GP, while George Russell qualified in P18.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle slammed Mercedes’ W14 as the “worst car” at the Hungarian Grand Prix, whilst watching trackside on Friday.

Mercedes endured a woeful opening day at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton having ended Free Practice 2 in 16th, whilst George Russell was dead last in 20th.

Brundle watched on at the exit of the penultimate corner during FP2, where he admitted that the Mercedes looked like the “worst car” through that particular corner.

“I would say actually, just about the worst car I’ve seen coming through here is the Mercedes,” Brundle said during Sky Sports F1’s coverage of FP2.

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“Both Mercedes drivers really having to work the steering wheel to keep the car on line,” Brundle continued. “And to get some kind of traction.”

Hamilton spoke in similar fashion about the car after Friday’s running, with the seven-time World Champion having admitted that the car felt “at its worst”.

The 38-year-old did recall though that the car felt bad on the opening day in Hungary last season, an event he went on to claim second place at.

“It wasn’t feeling good at all. It was feeling like the car at its worst today, but we’ll work on the setup tonight,” said Hamilton, as reported by Sky Sports F1.

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“Last year it felt terrible at the beginning and then we tuned it around with some setup changes. So we will work on that tonight and hopefully tomorrow it will feel better.”

Despite ending the opening day as the slowest driver, Russell was slightly more positive about the team’s work.

Last season’s Hungarian GP pole sitter admitted that the car “didn’t feel too bad”, but that they are definitely struggling with “overall grip”.

“It didn’t feel too bad in all honestly. We were obviously on a very different programme to everybody else,” Russell said.

“We only used one set of tyres throughout, it was a set of used tyres as well from FP1, so the lap times don’t really give a true representation. I’m sure tomorrow will be better.

“We are still just focused on trying to improve, we always know that we sort of tend to get better as the weekend progresses, which is the right way round for it to be. A few interesting things we learnt, even in that one session, so let’s see what we can do tonight.

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“We are struggling just with a bit of overall grip. I don’t think the tyres are in the right window both at low fuel and high fuel. We just need to understand why that was, if we need to be taking a faster out-lap, slower out-lap for the qualifying stint, for the race run if we need to be pushing harder or managing more.

“These are things that are a little bit difficult sometimes when you’re in the cockpit without having been able to look at the data.

“It wasn’t our best day for sure, but it’s not the first time I’ve said that on a Friday evening, and Saturday and Sunday are often better.”

Lewis Hamilton ultimately took pole on Saturday, as he narrowly edged out Max Verstappen.

George Russell, meanwhile, failed to get out of Q1 and will line up in P18 due to him getting stuck in traffic.