Martin Brundle has hailed the "devastating performance" put in by Red Bull which left Mercedes questioning their car concept.
Coming into the weekend Lewis Hamilton downplayed any suggestions that the team was working on a 'Plan B' car, while Technical Director Mike Elliott referenced 'different side pod' upgrades that would be coming at a later date.
The Sky Sports F1 analyst believes the Bahrain race confirms that Mercedes has "accepted defeat" on their W14 car concept, after finishing 50 seconds behind Verstappen.
"It was a devastating performance - the two Mercedes cars and the two Aston Martins were fighting hard among themselves all race as well as trying to catch the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz," said Brundle in a column for Sky Sports.
"And yet Lewis Hamilton was still 50 seconds behind Max at the end of the race, with George Russell even further back. The six-tenths per lap they were missing in qualifying was more like a second per lap in the race, and that's a shocker."
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Brundle: 'Wouldn't rule out' Red Bull winning every race
Brundle says he "wouldn't rule out" Red Bull taking victory at every race in 2023, after the comments made by George Russell following the race.
"George said after the race that he believes Red Bull will win all 23 races, and while that might have been an emotional and disappointed reaction, you couldn't rule it out on the evidence we've seen so far," he said.
Following Aston Martin's brilliant start to the year, Brundle says the team "energised the weekend" and believes there is little in the race pace between Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes.
"Much credit must go to Aston Martin and their drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll - they totally energised that race with some great side-by-side action. It would have been rather dull without them," said Brundle.
He continued: "It doesn't bear thinking about how different if could have turned out when the two Astons made contact at Turn 4 on the opening lap. It could so easily have been a right-rear puncture for Fernando and broken front wing for Lance.
"Fernando got out of the car and said 'Lance, you're my hero', and thankfully he didn't have to use other words. It was amusing to hear him on the radio during the race demanding to know if whoever ran into him had been penalised…
"In terms of Aston's prospects going forward, once again a good car works everywhere and gives the drivers confidence. Ferrari might well be a bit quicker than Aston and Mercedes over one lap, but when it comes to the longer stints there's little in it."