The start of the Formula 1 season in Bahrain was not what the Mercedes team had hoped for. With fifth place for Lewis Hamilton and seventh for George Russell, the Silver Arrows achieved a solid result, but the leaders around Red Bull already seem to have pulled away.
Afterwards, Hamilton criticised his team in an unusually clear manner – which also caused astonishment to many. The weaknesses of the new Mercedes W14 were mercilessly exposed at the season opener in Bahrain. The black W14 lacks above all traction and cornering speed; gone are the days when the Mercedes ran like on rails.
Afterwards, Lewis Hamilton found clear words on the microphone of the BBC and really accused his own team:
“Last year, I told them what problems there were with the car,” the seven-time world champion was annoyed about the fact that the German racing team will probably only drive behind this season.
In the 38-year-old’s view, the Mercedes designers and aerodynamicists should take “responsibility”, “admit it and say: ‘We didn’t listen to you, it’s not the way it should be and we have to work on it'”, he followed up.
Hill questions Hamilton
In the interview, Hamilton had much harsher words than he did on team radio after the end of the race.
“We have a lot of work to do and I will support everywhere,” the British driver said shortly after crossing the finish line. This lurch between support and criticism was met with some anger, especially by ex-driver Damon Hill.
“He can’t do that like that. Sure it’s constructive criticism, but Hamilton is obviously disappointed,” Hill judged in the Formula 1 podcast F1 Nation.
“Even if Mercedes know all the answers to the problems, what are they going to do? Build a new car?” he asked rhetorically.
The cost cap means teams have $135 million each this year to develop cars and pay staff. So there is simply no financial leeway for major changes to the cars, at least legally.
It will be interesting quite how Mercedes and team boss Toto Wolff make good on their promise to bring out a totally new ‘Plan-B car’ as Wolff put it at the end of the Bahrain GP two weeks ago.
READ MORE: Mercedes ‘civil war’ set to continue
“there is simply no financial leeway for major changes to the cars, at least LEGALLY.”
That is where Toto’s genius will come into play. He would spend as he likes, FIA and its auditors would say everything is in order, that he spent $1 LESS than the cap. No one can find the truth and Wolff will escape ONCE AGAIN.
Cry your heart out, fair minded F1 fans 🙁
Can someone please tell Me Hill to be honest with himself! He derives great joy from being critical on Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Formula 1 has gone down the plughole, scrap the teams all cars identical and owned by the FIA a cap on drivers wages, it’s petty and boring, so make it really boring 💤, I’ll just watch paint dry
For years Hamilton was blessed to have the best car on the grid, everyone hailed his supposed greatness. In a sub par car, his team mate beats him, and he whines. So much for greatness.Schumacher won races in a dud Ferrari between 96 to 99. Senna in Donnington was legendary. Hamilton is the great whiner. Finally being showed up. He holds all the records but the one he’s most worthy of is the greatest whiner. Loving F1 since Abu Dhabi.