commentator and former F1 racer Martin Brundle has warned title leaders Red Bull that the 'tide is turning' towards McLaren and Ferrari following the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Lewis Hamilton secured victory in the race ahead of Fernando Alonso, marking the second successive race in which Red Bull have been beaten to the top step of the podium after Alonso won at Silverstone a fortnight earlier.
Although Mark Webber and championship leader Sebastian Vettel took third and fourth, Brundle admitted that Red Bull will want to fight back as soon as possible to maintain its healthy lead in the championship standings.
“The tide is relentlessly turning against Red Bull in Formula 1 and they will want arrest that in no uncertain terms this weekend in Hungary,” he wrote in his BBC Sport
column. “The facts speak for themselves.
“Red Bull have won one of the last four races. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is the highest points scorer of the last three races. World championship leader Sebastian Vettel has not had a pole position or win in the past two races, and on Sunday finished off the podium for the first time in 13 races.
“In a German Grand Prix with ten lead changes, it was most significant that in clear air and with track position, Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber simply could not pull a big enough gap to ace the race victory over Lewis Hamilton Hamilton and Alonso through the second pit stops.”
Brundle added that Vettel hadn't been his usual self during his home race weekend but backed the defending champion to fight back this weekend in Hungary.
“From Friday lunchtime onwards, in other words after first practice, Vettel was wearing a frown and looked decidedly unhappy,” he said. “His boyish smile occasionally burst through but mostly to the cameras. He clearly was not satisfied with the handling of his car and was fed up having to answer questions about Silverstone team orders.
These days it is so unusual to see Vettel making unforced errors and his spin in the race only served to put him fully out of podium contention. But the fact that he still hauled in some decent points with fourth place, his worst finishing result since last September, rather puts it in perspective.
“Budapest this weekend will be very telling for both Red Bull and the 2011-style wild action and overtaking. It's a track where Red Bull excelled last year, and where passing is notoriously difficult.
“I am looking forward to observing Vettel. I suspect we may see him at his very best.”