Mercedes boss Toto Wolff denied during an interview with the German publication Auto Bild, that the departed of technical director Paddy Lowe had impacted on their performance this season.
With four years under Mercedes, Lowe parted ways with the team earlier this year and returned to Williams where the engineer started his career during the 80’s in an apparent exchange for ex Williams driver Valterri Bottas’.
Managed by Wolff, Bottas stepped in to fill the hole left by the surprise retirement of the current world champion Nico Rosberg.
“Paddy is an excellent engineer for whom I have great respect,” said the Austrian.
“But success in our sport is not about individual well-known personalities, but rather about having a balanced structure with the right people in the right places.
“And, in my opinion, that’s what we have at Mercedes.
“It’s in times like these that you realise how strong a team is and I could not be prouder of how all of them are dealing with the current situation,” Wolff added.
“We have our feet on the ground, everyone is focused on solving our troubles and we are enjoying the duel with Ferrari. That is what motor sport is all about — to compete against the best.”
Rather curiously and in a strange contradictory fashion, Wolff went on to say that he expects his driver Lewis Hamilton to step up and take a role in turning around Mercedes fortunes. Surely the opposite to the aforementioned mantra that “no one individual was bigger than the team”?
“Lewis’ attitude and his personal maturity have impressed me this season,” insists the Mercedes boss.
“We had good conversations in the winter. Everyone put his cards on the table, we talked about what worked and what has not worked in recent years, and since then he has taken a strengthened management role in the team.”
“Lewis has a very positive influence on the team and is more motivated than I have ever seen him. Which is just as you would expect from a champion of his quality.”
It remains to be see if turnaround includes team mate Valterri Bottas or indeed the team as a whole. Lets not forget that the rather juvenile like Hamilton already declared his feelings on data sharing with others this year.
Hamilton has proven time and again not to be a team player and merely interested in his own well being. James Gray writing for the express suggests about Hamilton, “If you try to count all the occasions on which the three-time world champion has lost his temper with his treatment at Mercedes, you quite quickly run out of fingers and eventually toes”.
Interesting times ahead. If the results don’t come good and Vettel continues to win, could we see the next big melt down from Hamilton and will Mercedes continue to tolerate it after making moves to accommodate Lewis with this new role in the team.