‘Trust Issues in Mercedes’: Fans Smell Something Fishy as Lewis Hamilton Takes Matters Into Own Hands

Published 09/26/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Trust is integral to any team operation. Formula 1 may look like an individual sport from the outside, but it’s far from it. Yes, drivers fight against each other on track—even against their teammates—but ultimately, they represent their team on track. That being said, if drivers don’t trust the work their team does to improve, can that operation ever succeed? That’s the question on every Mercedes fan as Lewis Hamilton decided to take charge and do what he thinks is right.

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The question of trust issues between Hamilton and Mercedes has come up more often than you’d think. Back in 2021, when George Russell was on the verge of signing a contract with Mercedes, Hamilton suggested that the Brackley outfit retain Valtteri Bottas. It wasn’t because the seven-time champion liked Bottas more than Russell. There was this balance in the team that Hamilton feels isn’t there anymore. The problems didn’t stop there. Once Russell did come to Mercedes, he hoped he’d be in a championship-winning car. Unfortunately for him and Hamilton, 2022 wasn’t what the Silver Arrows hoped for.

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After fighting through a tough year, Mercedes’ W14 in 2023 didn’t seem any better. When the seven-time champion stepped into it during Bahrain testing, he knew the car would go nowhere. He told Toto Wolff that, but he chose to go against Hamilton once again and try salvaging the W14. Wolff quickly realized that Hamilton had been right all along, and Mercedes had to revamp its entire car this season. No wonder Hamilton did what he had to do. But what did he do?

As per a tweet by @MercedesNewsUK, Lewis Hamilton says he is visiting Mercedes engineers in Brackley this week to check on the W15 in the wind tunnel ‘to see if they are making my requested changes.’” There’s nothing wrong with the Brit going to the factory to check on the W15, especially after how confident the team is about its 2024 challenger. Despite that, fans didn’t take it too positively, and, well, they think it’s all about trust issues.

Lewis Hamilton “can’t be blamed” for not trusting Mercedes

It’s no secret Mercedes hasn’t lived up to its expectations over the past couple of years. Hamilton came oh-so-close to winning that elusive eighth championship in 2021. But suddenly, the Brackley team dropped the ball, and now, Hamilton has no option but to take matters into his own hands. After how the 2023 season has played out and the trajectory of the W14, it was natural for Hamilton to suggest changes to the W15. Here’s how fans took it: Mercedes’ biggest issue isn’t the rivalry between Hamilton and Russell. It’s, in fact, the trust the seven-time champion has in it.

Considering he extended his stay at Mercedes until 2025, you’d think there were no trust issues and that Hamilton had complete faith in Mercedes. Well, that trust may be wearing thin.

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Until Hamilton doesn’t see signs of improvement, these “interesting” trust issues will continue.

After the last few years, where Hamilton should’ve competed for wins and titles, Mercedes left him hanging. So, technically, blaming him for taking matters into his own hands isn’t fair.

Hamilton gave suggestions for the W14 last year, but Mercedes didn’t implement them. The same thing happened before the revamp as well. No wonder Hamilton is keeping a close eye.

After having said they’d work on Hamilton’s suggestions last year, Mercedes didn’t follow through. It “tricked” the seven-time champion.

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Are last year’s “lies” compelling Hamilton to ensure he stays in the loop?

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Do you think Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes could ever rival the trust between Max Verstappen and Red Bull?

WATCH THIS STORY | Lewis Hamilton and George Russell slapped with a brutal reality check amid resurrection rumors

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan

757Articles

One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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