Former ITV-F1 commentator James Allen has predicted that McLaren should be very strong next season.

Writing on his personal website,, he added that in his view the combination of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button is far superior to Red Bull Racing's line-up of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber - and Ferrari's pairing of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

"I think McLaren will be very strong next year. There is no reason to suspect otherwise," Allen said in his review of F1 2010.

"They have a better balanced driver pairing than Red Bull or Ferrari. The only thing to keep an eye on is that the loss of Mercedes' enormous financial support will surely be felt a year on from their separation.

"But McLaren have always seemed to be able to find money and renewing the Vodafone sponsorship deal was very important."

Allen also added that 2011 could potentially be make-or-break for the Mercedes GP team: "I really feel the pressure is on Mercedes for 2011," he continued.

"Yes the global car market is improving and for companies like Mercedes the emerging markets - Brazil, India, China etc hold huge potential and yes there are few better marketing platforms than F1 for a brand like Mercedes. But the top brass will want to see some results this year.

"I also think Ross Brawn, having done so much over the years will surely start thinking soon about a life less pressured.

"I'm not sure how much he's enjoying working with the Mercedes people and imagine he will be thinking about his succession plan soon. I'm very interested to see whom he lines up."