Former F1 Champion Bashes Lewis Hamilton for Complaining Against Mercedes Right After Praising Them on Radio
|Published March 15, 2023
Lewis Hamilton fared badly in the 2022 Bahrain GP finishing P5. The Briton was struggling to find the needed speed to defend Fernando Alonso’s attack because of the Mercedes W14’s unsatisfactory performance.
However, Lewis gave a motivating message during the cooldown lap to the Mercedes team present during the race and at Brackley. He assured me the problems could be fixed if the team put all effort into it.
But right after the race, the Briton launched a scathing attack on Mercedes. He accused the team of not considering his inputs during the W14’s development phase, which led to the car’s shortfall.
The mood at Mercedes is intense as they brace for an even more difficult season than 2022. But questions are being raised on whether the Mercedes driver sent mixed signals to his team, bringing their morale down.
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Damon Hill criticises Lewis Hamilton for Mixed signals
Lewis Hamilton acknowledged that the W14 is nowhere close to the likes of Red Bull or Ferrari. Yet he confirmed that the team had done a good job over the winter with the car. And would later publically allege the team for not listening to him.
1996 F1 Champion Damon Hill thinks the contradictory messaging by the racer has further confused the team. And such kind of mixed messaging might lower the team’s morale.
Hill said, “After the race, he got on the radio and said ‘we’ve got work to do guys, I’m right behind you, 100 per cent supportive’. And then he comes out to say, ‘I did warn them, I told them that I didn’t like the car’.”
Hill added, “You can’t criticise and also be 100 per cent supportive. It’s obviously constructive criticism, but he’s disappointed. He knows what’s ahead.”
Lewis is also rumoured to be delaying talks on extending his contract. As maybe the driver, who has spent 11 glorious seasons with Mercedes, is unsure if the team can remain competitive going forward.
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Can the W14 be improved?
Lewis finished a whopping 51 seconds behind the race winner Max Verstappen. This shows that Mercedes’ 2023 car is nowhere close to the RB19.
It’s safe to say the team made a conceptual error while developing the car, as the W14 lacks straight-line speed, acceleration, handling, tyre management and a myriad of problems.
While there are speculations that Mercedes is building a second car, this would be difficult to achieve within the tight $135 Million Budget Cap. Both Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff have denied this.
Hill claims maybe the team are already working on a new concept. After having brought back the former Chief Technical Officer James Allison and given an ultimatum to Mike Elliot.
But the Former F1 champion asked, “Even if they’ve got the people there now, who knows what the answer is? And how will they produce a new car? Will they completely redesign the car?”
Also, the team’s focus has shifted from winning races and competing for the title to finishing in the top 3. As both Toto Wolff and George Russell believe it will be impossible to beat Red Bull this season.
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