Ex-F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle says Mercedes look stronger than ever in 2020, and hopes Ferrari are hiding their pace.
The Silver Arrows recorded the fastest time of pre-season testing courtesy of Valtteri Bottas who was the only driver to make it into the 1:15s, setting a 1:15.732 on the C5 tyres.
Ferrari meanwhile fell away from their past position of dominance in pre-season testing – 1:16.360 on the same compound was the best time Charles Leclerc was able to set and the Scuderia have suggested a lack of confidence going into the new season.
They have also maintained that their poor performance was genuine and that they are not sandbagging.
But Brundle hopes they are, saying that Mercedes look “worryingly strong”.
“Mercedes look worryingly strong – stronger than last year,” Brundle told Express Sport.
“I don’t know what the Italian word for sand-bagging is, but I hope that’s what Ferrari are doing.”
Currently Red Bull are being touted as Mercedes’ biggest rivals for 2020 – Brundle says they are looking “solid” while he also expects the pack to close up.
He also revealed though that Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff are all “calm and relaxed” ahead of the new season judging from the interviews he has done with them.
“Red Bull look solid, very solid. A lot of continuity. The cars will just plug and play on the track. Relentless speed, reliability. The pack will close up,” he said.
“Two exciting [new] races. New races with obviously Zandvoort and Vietnam – hopefully we go to these places. I just think the scene is set.
“The cars will be the fastest ever and I’m expecting some pretty feisty racing. The midfield looks manic.
“But I can’t [see past Mercedes]… having interviewed Lewis and Toto and Valtteri, they are so calm and confident and relaxed.”