Aston Martin could benefit from their working relationship with Mercedes as they try to solve the problems that have blighted them so far in 2021, according to former F1 driver Paul di Resta.
Following some difficulties in winter testing, the British outfit have struggled to turn this around in the first three races of the year. Sebastian Vettel is yet to score a point, whilst Lance Stroll has occasionally showed promise but finished behind his teammate at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Mercedes - who Aston Martin are a customer team of - similarly faced issues in the pre-season test, seemingly due to the sport's new regulations impacting higher rake cars like theirs. The Silver Arrows have bounced back, however, and di Resta thinks this could help Aston Martin to improve.
"They have got a lot of problems to deal with," Di Resta told Sky Sports F1 about Aston Martin. "They were saying higher rake cars were, you know, that was the biggest thing that was affecting their performance over the course of this winter.
"Obviously coming into the first race, Mercedes have somehow managed to turn it around.
"They're very close to them in terms of the amount of parts that they carry over, the relationship with them, so that may help them bring it on."
Di Resta believes that Aston Martin also need their drivers to feel more confidence in order to improve the current level of performance.
"Ultimately they need the drivers' feedback," the former racer said. "The drivers need confidence. If they've got confidence they can move on.
"Maybe Vettel [will be] re-energised after getting into Q3 [at Portugal], but it's a long painful season ahead when you see Alpine performing the way they are, AlphaTauri and especially McLaren and Ferrari.
"They have upped their game. That is a battle for third position in my eyes, between Ferrari and McLaren, all the way to the very end."