Former F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle believes that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes should consider another engine change during the title run-in, given their eye-catching performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton twice recovered through the field at Interlagos last weekend, surging forward from 20th to fifth in the Sprint race after his exclusion from qualifying, and climbing from 10th to fifth in the main event, having taken a five-place engine change penalty.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has stated that the plan is for Hamilton to go to the end of the season - which features trips to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi - with his current engine pool, but Brundle reckons the approach should be reconsidered.
Five-place penalty a small price to pay?
Indeed, Brundle has no doubt that Hamilton would be able to make up the positions lost by an engine change in the remaining races.
"With [Max] Verstappen's championship lead down to 14 points, after Checo Perez saved a point grabbing fastest lap off Lewis on the final tour, the championship will run until at least Saudi Arabia now," wrote Brundle in his column for Sky Sports.
"This story has plenty more to run, and surely on that form, it's worth Merc considering a new Internal Combustion Engine for the final big showdown.
"A five-place grid drop could be well worth it, given Lewis passed all the other 19 cars on the grid, 16 of them at least twice."
Hamilton now "pretty much unbeatable"
Red Bull have raised questions about Mercedes' straight-line speed at recent events and Brundle feels that Hamilton now finds himself driving an almost "unbeatable" car.
"With effectively three new circuits to close out the season, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi expecting high top speeds, and given the power degradation with mileage which Merc have been suffering this season, it made sense," added Brundle of Hamilton's latest engine change in Brazil.
"Honda's power advantage at altitude circuits - it's approaching 800 metres in Interlagos - has been diminished to an extent this season with some Turbocharger changes by Mercedes.
"But a fresh motor and whatever secret Mercedes have found with their reduced drag and high maximum speeds have made Hamilton pretty much unbeatable."
F1 Podcast: Could Mercedes' pace in Brazil spell the end for Red Bull?
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was simply unstoppable in Brazil, forcing his way past Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Is momentum coming back towards Mercedes in the 2021 title fight?