Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season
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Michael Schumacher’s brother feels Mercedes could be set for a major restructure after Lewis Hamilton criticised the team ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if changes are made at the Silver Arrows after a difficult start to the season.
The German feels “something” could happen at Mercedes with technical director Mike Elliott likely in the firing line. He told Formel1.de: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the pecking order changes now.
“That also happened at Aston Martin. [Andrew] Green was basically transferred, they got a new one from Red Bull [Dan Fallows]. And now something is going to happen at Mercedes.
“Because, I’ll say it again, with a technical director who believes that a concept works and pulls for it so hard, you can’t change your mind overnight. So that I think it’s problematic. That would be my feeling that something is changing.”
Lewis Hamilton explains why he has not boycotted Saudi Arabia GP
His comments come just a week after Italian media reported that Elliott had been given an “ultimatum” to solve the car’s issues. Mercedes slipped to the fourth-quickest team on the grid in Bahrain as they were pipped by the resurgent Aston Martin’s.
Hamilton then hit out at Mercedes bosses for not listening to him over the direction of the W14. The seven-time champion called for the Silver Arrows to “own up” and take “accountability” for the problems.
F1 pundit Tom Clarkson said Elliott’s “long-term future” could be at risk if Mercedes were unable to find a fix. Damon Hill also weighed into the problem, stressing individuals would be put “under pressure” if the team fails to perform.
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He commented: “It’s hard to criticise. You don’t want to start saying, ‘Okay, somebody needs to sort this out. People’s jobs are really important, and the last thing they need is pressure. But this is Formula One, and that’s the nature of the beast. The nature of the beast is [that] you’re in the spotlight, it’s not a place you can hide away.
“Somebody is going to look for where it’s right and where it’s wrong. And if it’s an individual that is leading people in the wrong direction, then they are going to be put under pressure.
“I don’t think [Mattia] Binotto necessarily should have lost his position at Ferrari, but that’s what happened. This is the nature of the game. It’s tough.”
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