‘Whisper it, Mercedes are back’ – Driver puts team ‘in the conversation’ after ‘brilliant week’

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, during the 2024 British Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen battle during the 2024 British Grand Prix.

McLaren Formula E driver Sam Bird said Mercedes are “most definitely back in the conversation” at the front of the Formula 1 field, after a “brilliant week” that brought two victories.

Lewis Hamilton’s win at Silverstone came hot on the heels of George Russell claiming victory in Austria, after Lando Norris and Max Verstappen collided at the Red Bull Ring – but Bird explained where the Silver Arrows have gained on their rivals as they reached the front of the field.

Mercedes ‘resurgent’ with gap to Ferrari at Silverstone highlighted

Bird, formerly a Mercedes test driver alongside his racing efforts during his career, believes the former World Champions are now in a place where they should be “in the conversation” at the front of the pack again, after two wins in as many weeks.

He also addressed their apparent strength in the high-speed surroundings of Silverstone, adding that aspect of their recent cars had been an area of weakness for them, but Russell and Hamilton had locked out the front row on merit before a strong performance in the race.

Mercedes going forward, they’ve just won two races in seven days. They’ve had a brilliant week since Austria,” Bird told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast after the British Grand Prix.

“Look, I think George Russell was fortunate to win in Austria, to be honest. He was nailed down for a third place.

“Here, Lewis Hamilton deserved to win that race today. He made the right calls at the right time, and he was quick.

“He was quick at the right times; he was right there when it mattered. I think Mercedes, dare I say it and I’ll whisper it, Mercedes are back.

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“They’re back in the conversation, aren’t they? They’re most definitely back in the conversation.

“Where have Mercedes struggled in the last couple of years? It’s been high-speed corners. What does Silverstone have loads of? High speed corners.

“Where did they qualify for today’s Grand Prix? I think that they’ve maybe sorted that problem.”

Bird clarified later that he still believes that Hamilton’s upcoming switch to Ferrari will be a “great move” for him next season, but that his current team’s pace has seen a significant upturn in form.

“Mercedes are resurgent,” he added.

“Mercedes have found a load of pace, he’s just finished 35 seconds ahead of the nearest Prancing Horse.

“They were there on pace and on merit this weekend. High-speed corners have been their Achilles heel.

“Silverstone’s all about high-speed stability and change of direction. They qualified first and second, they have every right to be in the discussion.”

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