Continued struggles will leave Mercedes frustrated and confused – Martin Brundle

Lewis Hamilton’s “frustrated and confused” Mercedes team are in survival mode, leading Formula One pundit Martin Brundle has claimed.

Hamilton finished fourth, two places ahead of team-mate George Russell, at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wrapped up his eighth straight win.

Although Mercedes are second in the constructors’ championship heading into the sport’s summer break, Hamilton appears no closer to ending his 35-race losing streak.

The seven-time world champion was also dealt a major blow in Spa-Francorchamps after an upgrade – which included new sidepods and a revised floor – appeared to contribute to the return of porpoising.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said his Mercedes was bouncing “everywhere” and said the sensation was reminiscent of last year’s car – a machine which carried him to the poorest championship finishing position of his career.

“Mercedes will be very frustrated,” said Brundle, 64. “Their car is on a knife edge to set up, to understand and to drive.

Martin Brundle

Martin Brundle said Mercedes will be ‘very frustrated’ (David Davies/PA)

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

“But I would imagine they are confused with this car. They promise a great result, get something special, then go to the next race with upgrades and fall off the pace.”

Mercedes have claimed just one victory in the past 19 months. Their poor form is a far cry from the dominance which saw them secure an unprecedented eight consecutive constructors’ titles.

And Russell revealed the Brackley team have been drawing creativity from their once all-conquering machines.

“We are working really hard on the characteristics for next yea, and we are looking a lot at how the previous generation of cars were for Mercedes, the glory years, and using that as inspiration,” said Russell.

“Clearly they were some of the best cars in history. So that is giving us some pointers of where we need to aim for.

“I am sure we will be strong in the second half of the season. We have some little things coming after the break and I am confident we will secure second in the team championship and close the gap to Red Bull.”

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