Giancarlo Minardi, founder of the Minardi F1 team, has urged fans not to get too carried away by Mercedes's early struggles in the 2021 season, as they have shown a remarkable ability to bounce back from adversity in recent years.
At last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, it was Red Bull who looked to have the beating of the seven-time world champions.
However, mistakes from the Austrian team, as well as an inspired drive from Lewis Hamilton, saw Mercedes leave with the race win - and an early lead in the constructor standings.
"The fight between Mercedes and Red Bull was very beautiful, with the latter confirming the positive trend of the 2020 season finale by making a step forward assisted with the Honda engine," the Italian wrote on the official Minardi.it website.
"But be careful. If this is the Mercedes in crisis, then there is little to be calm because they have always shown a great ability to react even if they made a mistake in the pits with Bottas, nullifying a possible double win."
Reflecting on the controversial Turn 4 incident, in which Verstappen was adjudged by the FIA to have overtaken off the track, Minardi wasn't a fan of the inconsistencies shown throughout the weekend.
"I absolutely disliked the decision of the race directors to use two different measures between qualifying and the race, deciding not to penalize going wide at Turn 4," Minardi continued.
"Now the world championship will move to the Imola track, on a demanding circuit that last year had given us a good race. Too bad it will be behind closed doors again."