Legendary F1 presenter Martin Brundle doesn’t think Mercedes will be able to find a quick solution to its woes in the near future, following a conversation with “few people in the team”.
Mercedes currently sits behind Red Bull, Aston Martin and Ferrari as the fourth-fastest car on the grid.
However, the team knows it is far behind Red Bull, who have set the pace in the early part of the season.
Lewis Hamilton finished his practice session almost a second slower per lap than Verstappen, who was forced to exit late during qualifying due to a driveshaft problem.
Brundle spoke about just how big the gap is between Mercedes and Red Bull and said that considerable time and effort will need to be made by the Silver Arrows to be competitive any time soon.
“It is very unusual for both Toto and Lewis to be anything other than super-positive about the Mercedes team,” he said.
“They have obviously had an incredible amount of success together.
“But there’s trouble there, isn’t there? The car isn’t fast enough. Talking to a few people in the team, it’s going to be a while before they sort it out.
“The boss is unhappy. He’s the lightning conductor. But you win and lose together.”
Brundle said that this will potentially be Wolff’s biggest challenge since taking over charge of Mercedes.
“This will be the biggest test of Toto’s tenure,” Brundle said.
“Despite all the success, it’s about turning this around now. Keeping the right people involved, bringing in fresh energy, not upsetting the others, people will move on.”
“He needs to keep Lewis onboard, he’s got George who is obviously a huge talent for the future..
“I tread carefully when it comes to criticising the management of a team. Red Bull, for example, is a boulevard of activities with thousands of incredibly intelligent people working on racing cars.
“I am loathe to criticise [teams] because you see the resources, the skills, the knowledge going into it. Maybe it just needs fine-tuning.
“But, you know, it can be avalanche when it goes wrong. Keeping their morale high. Toto wears his heart on his sleeve and he gets angry when he’s not happy.”