Mercedes have responded to rumours of driver Lewis Hamilton’s departure amid a disappointing start to the F1 season. The seven-time world champion finished fifth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. Hamilton was reportedly unhappy that the team did not listen to him during car development. Sky Sport’s Simon Lazenby suggested Hamilton could move to rivals Ferrari, adding: “He’s not put his pen to paper yet on his contract. He’s definitely waiting to see how this year’s car felt.”
In a letter to fans, Mercedes addressed the team’s position, asserting they would not panic or make “knee-jerk reactions”. Instead, the team said they were “working urgently and calmly to build our recovery plan, focusing on what needs to happen short-term, medium-term, and long-term to win”. They added that they would use their poor start as a learning experience. The letter concluded: “We will keep our heads held high – and take this journey step by step, together. We are Mercedes.”
Mercedes failed to impress in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Hamilton finishing fifth and George Russell taking seventh place. The Silver Arrows were outclassed by their customer team Aston Martin, which appears to be Red Bull’s closest contender. Lazenby claimed Hamilton was “so desperate” for an eighth world championship that he could move to Ferrari “if [Mercedes] stay like this”. Hamilton is yet to sign his contract with Mercedes for the 2021 season.