Mercedes hold ’emergency meeting’ as Toto Wolff responds to Lewis Hamilton’s claim F1 team ‘didn’t listen’ to his…..

  • Mercedes hold ’emergency meeting’ as Toto Wolff responds to Lewis Hamilton’s claim F1 team ‘didn’t listen’ to himF1 Grand Prix of Bahrain – Practice
    Lewis Hamilton finished P5 at the Bahrain GP (Photo: Getty)
    Toto Wolff has played down talk of a rift between Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes after he claimed the team ‘didn’t listen’ to him while developing their 2023 Formula One car.
    After a woeful 2022, where Hamilton ended a season winless for the first time in his career, it was hoped that Mercedes would close the gap to Red Bull and allow the British icon to challenge for a record-breaking eighth title.
    Unfortunately, things appear to have only gotten worse, with the 38-year-old finishing the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth place – over 50 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen.
    Teammate George Russell and team principal Wolff were crestfallen after the race, claiming the Silver Arrows would have to go back to the drawing board, though Hamilton seemed more upbeat.
    However, in an interview with BBC Sport on Wednesday, the seven-time world champion uncharacteristically hit back at his team, saying: ‘Last year, there were things I told them, I said the issues that are with the car.I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn’t need. And 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 used to be and we’ve got to work”.This all comes amid speculation that Hamilton could walk away from Mercedes and maybe even F1 altogether at the end of the season when his contract is set to expire.

Though he has denied this will happen, the continued struggles of the Silver Arrows will surely be casting some doubt in his mind over the future, though Wolff insists this is not the case at all.
He said: ‘The Lewis situation is you heard him on the radio. He is an integral part of the team, picking the team up and we are all sticking together and I don’t think that is going to change just because we had a start that was really bad.We have won eight constructors’ championships and six drivers’ championships with him and that relationship holds.
‘As much as being transparent as to how we need to turn the car around, it is not the point to talk about the driver situation in 2024.
‘It is far too early, we need to all push in then same direction, the drivers, the engineers, all the management rather than throwing in the towel. We have never done that and we will not do it.

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