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Mercedes in the middle of a 'civil war' after Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff comments

Ryan Sidle

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Mercedes in the middle of a 'civil war' after Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff comments

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have been accused of being part of a 'civil war' at Mercedes following the team's poor start to the Formula One season.

No matter how good you've been at keeping the villains away in the past, working hard together, things often unravel quickly when things start to go wrong.

For Captain America and Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one could easily read Hamilton and Wolff in the F1 universe, it will certainly make for interesting viewing come next year's Drive to Survive.

Hamilton was so annoyed after the team's performance in Bahrain, in the first race of the year, that he really went in on the team for not listening to him.

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The team held an 'emergency meeting' in the aftermath of the race, in which Hamilton finished fifth, 50 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen, and George Russell was back in seventh, over 55 seconds down.

After a poor start to the season for a second year in-a-row, with the team unsure if the direction they've taken with the car is the right one, there has been talk of the seven time world champion leaving the team.

Now the problems at the team have been described as a 'civil war,' with the drivers and team principal Wolff at war with the engineers at the team's base.

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"Mercedes have got a really tricky choice now because they already have a development programme in hand. So we know that there’s a new floor coming for the next race," F1 technological expert Craig Scarborough told Peter Windsor.

"We don’t know how big a step that is, but if you were to change anything on the car the floor would be the thing that you would change first. We know there is this much-talked-about Imola upgrade.

It was a tough race weekend for Hamilton. Image: Alamy
It was a tough race weekend for Hamilton. Image: Alamy

"This came to light [in] pre-season during testing and they said, ‘yes, we’ve got a big update coming’, which is not unusual for Mercedes and it didn’t sound like it was a reaction to any problems they were having with the car and they were talking again about the sidepods and some of the car concept changing ever so slightly.

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"So we’ve got that in the pipeline already and now you’ve got Toto and Lewis saying that we’re going to develop a completely new concept for this car to make it win races.

"You do wonder how much these kinds of snappy comments in the press are related to what the engineers are doing, everyone back at Brackley trying to decide what to do to get this car to be competitive.

"And you have to guess, given their success over the past decade, that they know how to do that. So there’s almost like a civil war going on at Mercedes."

Mercedes main upgrades won't come until six races in, May's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but there is some good news for them.

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Rivals Red Bull don't think they'll go the entire season unbeaten, which Russell claimed could happen, and believe their advantage will eventually go.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Ryan Sidle
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