Red Bull dominance creates “big pressure” for Mercedes to poach key staff

Legendary F1 commentator Martin Brundle believes Red Bull’s dominance in 2023 puts a number of struggling teams - including Mercedes - under “big pressure” when trying to recruit new talent.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

Red Bull have started F1 2023 in blistering fashion, scoring 1-2 finishes in the opening two rounds of the season.

Sergio Perez finished 25 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso in third at Jeddah despite there being a mid-race Safety Car, highlighting Red Bull’s dominance.

Remote video URL

Writing in his post-race column for Sky Sports, Brundle thinks teams will be under extra pressure to make new signings in a bid to improve their fortunes.

“Red Bull's dominant speed has put many teams and their key personnel under big pressure, not least Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren,” Brundle said.

“I've rarely witnessed such a broad challenge across so many teams and they'll be looking to hire experienced talent from other teams, who are themselves still feverishly protecting the people they already have under contract and collecting up other talents. 

“Add in Audi (currently Sauber Alfa Romeo) on a major recruitment crusade ready for 2026 and, despite the cost cap, it's a seller's market for people who know how a F1 team and car really works.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Reflecting on the race itself, Brundle praised Perez for beating Max Verstappen to the win - the first time their pair have 1-2 with the Mexican in front.

“Perez out front matched whatever his team-mate Verstappen could muster speed-wise and duly won the race in fine style,” he added. 

“His fifth victory, four of which have been on street circuits - but more significantly his first victory when Max was second.

“Verstappen stole the fastest lap championship point on the final tour and that clearly annoyed Perez, who was surprised the team didn't call off the fight when they had a one-two easily in the bag and he was suffering with a longer brake pedal, and unbeknown to him, Max was feeling a vibration in his transmission.”

Read More