The speed shown by F1's top two teams at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix left Mercedes in no doubt that the new rules adopted this year had harmed its form.
Changes to the floor aimed at reducing downforce, it believes, have harmed low-rake cars like its own and Aston Martin even more than high-rake models like Red Bull.
Aston Martin also said that the rule changes caused its car to lose one second per lap in performance as compared to high-rake competitors.
Brundle of Sky Sport F1 isn't persuaded that the rake question is the full reason for Mercedes' obvious speed problems.
Despite its early difficulties with the W12, he is optimistic that the Brackley team will “get it together,” as he believes Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are the team and driver combination to beat.
Brundle tells Motorsport.com, "I think the rake thing is a little bit of a distraction and I think the Mercedes is not really working that well at the moment,”
In addition, "Red Bull and Honda are working particularly well, as are a few other cars. The regulations mean you can’t just keep throwing new upgrades at it every week like they have perhaps done in the past, but Mercedes will get it together. [Lewis] Hamilton and Mercedes are still the combo to beat for the world championship."
Looking ahead to the race at Imola next weekend, Brundle predicts another close fight between Mercedes and Red Bull.
Hamilton's win in Bahrain, according to the ex-F1 driver turned renowned commentator, showed that Mercedes, even though on the back foot, cannot be underestimated.
Brundle when asked if he felt Mercedes would have a harder time beating Red Bull at Imola, he said yes.
He adds, “It depends what they do to their car in between times, it is obviously more limited as to what you can change anyway now. I wouldn't underestimate Mercedes. i mean everybody is talking about rake and how it has damaged Mercedes and therefore Aston Martin, but unless I'm mistaken, a Mercedes won the race in Bahrain with Red Bull having dominated the last race [in Abu Dhabi] last year."
To continue, "“I think it will be really close, they will sort the Mercedes out. Hamilton was absolutely magnificent in Bahrain and for me he won the race as much as anybody else lost it, or any team lost it."
To conclude, “I really don’t know who will be best around Imola and that is the wonderful thing about live sport.”