Mercedes team at ‘civil war’ over early season turbulence

Mercedes team at 'civil war' over early season turbulence

Updated: Mar 14, 2023 8:18 pm

Mercedes F1 team look to be in the midst of a civil war after both Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff give honest verdicts of this season’s car.

It has been claimed by F1 technological expert Craig Scarborough that, there is a “civil war going on” following these comments from the two high-status Mercedes men.

Both have criticised the development of the car and have stated publicly that significant changes are needed if the W14 car is the be competitive.

Both Silver Arrow drivers were six-tenths off the blistering pace set by current world champion Max Verstappen in Bahrain earlier this month.

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This woeful performance prompted Hamilton to speak out, revealing that his team didn’t listen to his feedback on the car. Hamilton didn’t hold back telling BBC, “Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car.

“I think it’s really about accountability, it’s about owning up and saying ‘yeah, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, it’s not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work’.”

Adding to the turmoil, team principal Wolff also admitted there are major issues saying, “At this team, we blame the problem and not the person at hand.

“We have all the ingredients to be successful, the people, the infrastructure that won eight consecutive championships in a row.

This has led Scarborough, who appears on Peter Windsor’s YouTube channel, to say: “Mercedes have got a really tricky choice now because they already have a development programme in hand. So we know that there’s a new floor coming for the next race.

“We don’t know how big a step that is, but if you were to change anything on the car the floor would be the thing that you would change first. We know there is this much-talked-about Imola upgrade.

“This came to light [in] pre-season during testing and they said, ‘yes, we’ve got a big update coming’, which is not unusual for Mercedes and it didn’t sound like it was a reaction to any problems they were having with the car and they were talking again about the sidepods and some of the car concept changing ever so slightly.

“So we’ve got that in the pipeline already and now you’ve got Toto and Lewis saying that we’re going to develop a completely new concept for this car to make it win races. You do wonder how much these kinds of snappy comments in the press are related to what the engineers are doing, everyone back at Brackley trying to decide what to do to get this car to be competitive.

“And you have to guess, given their success over the past decade, that they know how to do that. So there’s almost like a civil war going on at Mercedes.”

The season resumes this weekend in Saudi Arabia. While Mercedes have confirmed crunch talks with engineers after the disappointing Bahrain opener.

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