Martin Brundle’s Mercedes accusation will alarm Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton's future at Mercedes beyond 2023 remains uncertain, with him not yet signing a new contract.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle believes Mercedes will be “very frustrated” with the performance of the W14, a car he labelled as ‘Diva 2’.

Mercedes’ 2022 car was famously called a ‘diva’ by the Brackley-based team, due to its performance having been so inconsistent.

Last year, the Germans would often be very weak in qualifying but quite strong in the race, something which has happened again somewhat this campaign.

The W14 is definitely an improvement on its predecessor, but it still doesn’t offer consistent results.

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Brundle thinks this will have left the team “confused”, with them once again simply “surviving the season”.

“I think they will be very frustrated,” Brundle told Sky Sports F1. “Their car is on a knife-edge to set up, to understand, to drive.

“Then they suddenly promise a great result, get something a little bit special, go to the next race with upgrades – and fall off the pace.

“I would imagine they are confused with this car. ‘Diva 2’ I think they call it already don’t they?

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“They are surviving the season, as they did last year, and making the best of a bad job because they are a great team.”

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend after starting in third, whilst George Russell finished sixth after starting eighth.

Mercedes were arguably third or fourth in the pecking order, with McLaren’s pace having been better than their race result.

Despite the Germans inconsistent performances racing driver and pundit Naomi Schiff believes Mercedes are “going forward”, but that their “biggest concern” could become Ferrari’s progress in Spa.

“Despite Fernando’s great recovery today, Lewis is in a good position to do just that [claim P3 i the standings]” she said. “Their car seems to be going forward at least a little bit.

“We had a pole position from Lewis in Budapest so even though the global picture is not them on the podium at each race event, they have a car that on a Sunday really does perform.

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“I think for them the bigger concern today was the Ferraris, they had fantastic pace this weekend whether it was dry or wet, their car is in a window where it’s really working.

“Lewis was between 2-3s behind Charles the whole race, and just didn’t have enough in the end it chase him down.

“But I think there’s enough there to be positive about. They have a car, unlike other teams who are very track-specific, they are consistently there or thereabouts. Something to build on, for sure.”