Hamilton criticism leads to Wolff U-turn as Mercedes duo swap jobs

Lewis Hamilton on difficult season for Mercedes in November

Lewis Hamilton’s calls for changes at Mercedes appear to have been heard by CEO Toto Wolff after the F1 team announced a major reshuffle at senior level would mark the return of James Allison. Hamilton has complained about the design of the Silver Arrows’ 2023 car and criticised his engineers for ignoring his feedback, and now Wolff has taken matters into his own hands by replacing chief engineer Mike Elliott.

The 38-year-old has not shied away from speaking out about the team’s troubles in competing at the front of the grid, criticising Mercedes’ top engineers for ignoring his feedback into how to design their W14 car after a disastrous 2022 campaign.

One of the key members of the project for designing the car was Elliott, who was promoted that year to the top role in Mercedes’ technical team. But it seems that Wolff has made the brutal decision to replace the 48-year-old by bringing back his trusted right hand Allison.

According to Autosport, Allison will return to the role of technical director, while Elliott is to take up the position of Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

Allison was one of the key members of the team responsible for helping Mercedes dominate the sport with eight consecutive Constructors’ titles between 2014 and 2021. He had recently taken up a role in another part of the organisation, but Wolff has clearly seen it fit to bring back his engineering wizard to solve the team’s troubles after Hamilton’s scathing criticism.

It comes only 20 months after Allison took up the CTO role, with the report claiming that Elliott’s skills were ‘not best suited’ to him taking up the role as technical director.

And after holding crunch talks to map out the rest of their season, it is claimed Elliott and Allison both agreed that a job switch would be the best way of serving the team’s wishes.

And it goes to show the lengths Wolff and Mercedes have gone to in an attempt to allay Hamilton’s fears over their car performance.

The seven-time champion has amassed 38 points from three races this season but is aware of just how far behind Mercedes are compared to Red Bull, and hit out at the team for failing to take his advice when designing the car.

“Last year, there were things I told them. I said the issues that are with the car,” he told BBC Radio 5Live. “I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs. I know what a car doesn’t need. I think it’s really about accountability.”

It marks a huge shift in attitude from Wolff, who insisted only 10 days ago that Allison was not working directly with the F1 team. Even if that was technically the case at the time, the Austrian appear to pour cold water on a return to the Silver Arrows for the 55-year-old, who rejoined the team in January.

Now, he will lead up Mercedes’ efforts to claw back the likes of Red Bull and Aston Martin on the track.

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