Toto Wolff told he should think about sacking Mike Elliot

Mercedes slipped to fourth in the pecking order behind Aston Martin at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are not finding Mercedes’ current situation “funny”, with the German wondering if technical director Mike Elliot’s time is up at the Brackley-based team.

The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was a complete disaster for Mercedes, with the Germans having slipped even further behind the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari.

Hamilton and Russell had to settle for fifth and seventh at the Bahrain International Circuit, with team principal Toto Wolff having described the race as “one of the worst days in racing”.

Wolff’s frustration was evident, with the Austrian having questioned the design concept of the W14.

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Schumacher believes there must have been a “dispute” between Wolff and Elliot for the W14 to be in the woeful position that it’s in, given that the team boss “has to believe” what Mercedes’ technical team are telling him.

“There has to be a dispute,” he told the YouTube channel.

“Somehow the technical director must have managed to convince Toto Wolff again that the full strength of the concept can now be played out. And Toto, what should he do, he has to believe in his technical team.”

It’s not just Wolff who vented his frustration after the race, with Hamilton having also explained how he feels like Mercedes “didn’t listen” to him.

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The seven-time world champion explained after Bahrain that his feedback was ignored, which again points the finger seemingly at Elliot and the technical department.

“Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car,” Hamilton told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.

“Like, 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 needs to be and we’ve got to work’.”

For Hamilton to share his frustration is incredibly rare of the 38-year-old, with him usually preferring to remain positive following a bad day at the office.

Bahrain was a very different story, though, with Schumacher believing that it’s “very clear” that Hamilton and Russell aren’t happy.

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“I think that Lewis Hamilton, who usually talks about things in a very rosy and flowery way, addressed it very straight for his way of addressing things,” said Schumacher.

“George Russell too, who is still a young driver. That was very clear.

“They don’t find it that funny. Mercedes should just drive for victory.”