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Martin Brundle

Brundle surprised at 'remarkable' Mercedes after 'weekend from hell'

Despite suffering two crashes during Friday's qualifying, Mercedes were still able to secure a solid haul of points at the Austrian Grand Prix, a feat that has impressed former F1 driver Martin Brundle.

Russell Austria
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Martin Brundle has praised the "quality" of Mercedes after they were able to bounce back during a "weekend from hell" at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite showing good pace in the early stages of Friday's qualifying, things started to unravel for the team when Lewis Hamilton crashed out of Q3, bringing out the red flags in the process.

Shortly after the action resumed, George Russell also suffered a similar incident, meaning that the Silver Arrows faced the task of repairing both cars in time for Saturday's running.

They managed to do this, but still experienced some dramas in the Sprint race as well as the main Grand Prix.

Brundle impressed by Mercedes' recovery

"Mercedes had the weekend from hell in many respects," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

"With both cars heavily in the wall in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton in the wars again at the start of the Sprint race, and George Russell penalised and needing a new front wing after the first lap of the main race.

"Such is the quality of the team they still finished third and fourth, and are a remarkably solid third in the Constructors' Championship."

The Silver Arrows currently have 237 points, giving them a 156-point advantage over nearest challengers McLaren in fourth.

Was Russell's penalty fair?

Another issue thrown at Mercedes during the weekend was Russell being handed a five-second time penalty after being deemed a fault for a first-lap collision with Sergio Perez in Sunday's race.

Russell himself has called the punishment "harsh", and Brundle agrees with this assessment.

"I thought Russell's penalty for contact with Sergio Perez on the opening lap in Turn 4 was on the harsh side," the former F1 driver said.

"I did 10 laps in my 1992 Benetton F1 car over the weekend in Austria, and it reminded me of just how unsighted, tight, cambered, and demanding the likes of Turns 3, 4, 6, and 9 are at this track.

"At the start of the race, laden with fuel and with front tyres not fully up to temperature, you'll always understeer wide in Turn 4 , and going around the outside there is a very high-risk strategy, especially given the ever tightening exit.

"I thought George did his best to climb the inside kerb and give space, and there was further space to the outside for Sergio.

"Conversely it's a reasonable argument to say that the driver on the inside can always throttle off or even brake. But they won't."

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F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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