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Bosses discuss staff changes as Mercedes seeks revival

Bosses discuss staff changes as Mercedes seeks revival
© Reuters
Mercedes, once a dominant force in Formula 1, now seems to be grappling with ongoing internal shifts.

Mercedes, once a dominant force in Formula 1, now seems to be grappling with ongoing internal shifts.

Recently, it became public that Jerome d'Ambrosio, Toto Wolff's deputy, and Loic Serra, the head of chassis performance, are switching allegiances to Ferrari. Moreover, it subsequently emerged at Imola that Mercedes will also see their chief aerodynamicist, Gioacchino Vino, leave, although they are compensating by bringing in Simone Resta and Enrico Sampo from Ferrari.

During a media interaction at Imola, Mercedes' technical director, James Allison, was questioned about the implications of these departures. "I don't think there's any point in me offering a commentary on motivation," he remarked.

"Clearly, a team needs to have a critical mass of experienced and good people. And we would not wish to see experienced good people leave us. But we also are gathering experienced and good people at a similar rate," Allison elaborated.

"So I guess it's our job to try and make sure we act in such a way as everybody would rather be with us than anywhere else."

Mercedes' recent performance under the new 'ground effect' regulations has been lackluster compared to their past dominance. "That's where we are and it's extremely disappointing," Wolff expressed his frustration to Sky Deutschland after the team's sixth and seventh place finishes at Imola, despite car upgrades.

"If you're 30 seconds plus from the top, that's not what we want and we can't be proud of that," he continued. "The results do not show that we are making progress with the car."

"There is frustration in my voice," Wolff added, "but there is progress and more to come. It's just how this sport works."

Wolff pointed out that "the human factor" plays a significant role in the team's current challenges. "As far as I see the situation, someone wanted to leave, someone was forced to leave due to certain circumstances, but we are not only losing personnel, we are also gaining them."

"All this is happening under the leadership of James Allison, who is doing a good job," Wolff acknowledged.

Mathias Lauda reflected on how his father Niki's absence is felt within the team. "I don't want to offend Toto Wolff, because Toto does a very good job," he told Servus TV.

"But of course my father had a lot more Formula 1 experience. He came from a completely different generation and had a completely different way of thinking. They took the best of both sides and were able to grow together."

He also speculated that Niki Lauda might have been able to keep Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes beyond 2024. "Lewis needed my father there in the team as an anchor," he noted. "Not just when it comes to Formula 1, but also for life."

"Lewis, like everyone, has his concerns and his insecurities, even if we don't notice much of it."

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Lewis Hamilton at the Las Vegas GP on November 15, 2023
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