Brawn warns Ferrari and Red Bull of Mercedes rebound
Ross Brawn has warned Ferrari and Red Bull to expect a major comeback from Mercedes in the next few races as the Silver Arrows look to return to winning ways after losing their first GP of the season in Austria.
The extreme temperates at the Red Bull Ring last week did not suit the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who suffered significant engine overheating throughout the race last Sunday, with the former finishing fifth and the latter in third.
Max Verstappen went on to win in impressive fashion, and even though Mercedes tasted defeat for the first time in 2019, Brawn disputes the suggestion it was a “crisis” weekend for the team, and expects them to emphatically return to form.
“The dream of a clean sweep through the season, which ultimately was probably a bridge too far, is now over, but you’d hardly mark Austria down as a crisis weekend,” he wrote in his F1 column.
“Maybe it will give the team even greater motivation, although such a voracious squad hardly needs any more drive as they head towards what can be seen as their two home races. Red Bull and Ferrari, you have been warned!”
It was another GP in which Mercedes have failed to meet expectations in the home race for team principal, Toto Wolff, but Brawn says that the 2019 failure wasn’t as bad as 2018.
“Never a prophet in one’s own land, so the saying goes and, over the past two years in Austria that could be applied to Toto Wolff,” the F1 director continued.
“Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport had both its cars retire last year at this track, their worst result of 2018 year, and this time, Toto’s home race marked the end of a run of ten straight wins dating back to Brazil last year.
“This weekend was not quite as disastrous as last year’s, as Valtteri Bottas at least made it to the podium, in third place, but a long way behind the two men ahead of him.”
Even with the disappointments of Austria, Mercedes still lead the constructors' championship comfortable - 135 points ahead of Ferrari in second.
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