Mercedes fans demand senior team figure be sacked

Mercedes look unable to compete with the top teams once again this year.

After struggling so much in 2022 with the W13, it was expected that Mercedes would turn up to pre-season testing in Bahrain this year with a radically different car.

To many fans’ surprise, other than the colour, the W14 did not look too dissimilar to the W13, which struggled with a major porpoising problem and general lack of performance.

While the Silver Arrows do appear to have stopped the bouncing which caused them so many issues last year, the W14 still struggles with the balance and its overall speed.

It was believed that Mercedes were sandbagging in pre-season but unfortunately for fans of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, this was not the case as the pair qualified in sixth and seventh for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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After Charles Leclerc’s retirement from the race, Hamilton finished in P5 while Russell came home in P7, with the W14 looking lightyears away from challenging Red Bull, Ferrari or even Aston Martin.

This failure to improve significantly from the 2022 season has outraged Mercedes fans, who are now beginning to turn on the team’s technical director Mike Elliott.

“Mike Elliott needs to stand down after that. His position is untenable,” tweeted one annoyed Mercedes fan.

As technical director, it would have been Elliott’s decision to stick with the zero sidepod design this season, despite Red Bull and Ferrari showing that this was clearly not the best route under the new regulations.

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There have been hundreds of tweets from Mercedes fans since the Bahrain Grand Prix calling for Elliott to be sacked, with the team’s performance simply unacceptable so far this season.

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Aston Martin are an engine customer of Mercedes so for the team to go from seventh place last season to being faster than the Silver Arrows as a pure result of their car design will come as a real kick in the teeth for Elliott.

“If Aston really did surpass us when they were 1.5 seconds behind us. There needs to be an overhaul at Mercedes and aggressive poaching. Starting with sacking Mike Elliott,” tweeted another disgruntled Mercedes fan.

Team principal Toto Wolff has already admitted that his team have made a mistake, with Mercedes set to explore a different development route already, having seen how far behind their rivals they currently are.