Major Mercedes departure announced, Lewis Hamilton mind games return – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton pilots his Mercedes W14 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis Hamilton pilots his Mercedes W14.

Tuesday’s F1 news round-up continues to explore the fall-out from the Mexican Grand Prix.

It was a day with plenty of Lewis Hamilton headlines, with the seven-time World Champion leaving Mexico full of beans about the potential of his Mercedes team as the W14 comes on in leaps and bounds.

But the designer of the W14 also made headlines himself on Tuesday, as Mike Elliott has decided to leave Mercedes. Check out all of Monday’s big F1 news headlines!

Mercedes lose the architect of W13 and W14

Late on Tuesday evening, Mercedes revealed that chief technical officer Mike Elliott has decided to leave the organisation with immediate effect in order to take a step back from F1, months after he and James Allison swapped roles.

Elliott oversaw the zero sidepod concept used on the W13 and W14 before the team opted to switch concept and revert to having James Allison as technical director, with the W14 ending the season in much more competitive shape.

Elliott will now embark on a period of gardening leave following his departure from the Brackley-based team.


Read more: Mercedes lose top-level technical boss following shock departure

Lewis Hamilton’s tyre complaints exposed as tactical

It’s something we’ve all suspected for a long time, but it’s finally been confirmed – Lewis Hamilton is usually lying when he says his tyres are going off, albeit perhaps not to actually try hoodwinking his opponents.

Mercedes’ development driver Esteban Gutierrez has revealed the seven-time World Champion uses the tactic as a psychological trick.

“Lewis is very strong in that kind of situation,” he said.

“I think he says some things to let it out of his system, it’s not necessarily meaning that’s what he believes, he’s just getting that out of his system.

“If I was in this position, it’s like a psychological process to try to increase or maximise your situation. And he’s done that a couple of times in his career where sometimes he makes an indication and then he does totally the opposite.

“And he’s like mega and doing the fastest laps and incredible stints and I think today was a good example of that.”


Read more: Lewis Hamilton’s ‘psychological’ trick back in the F1 spotlight

All Red Bull rumours were dismissed out of turn

Pretty much every rumour you can think of has circulated about Red Bull’s 2024 driver line-up in the last few days, with Sergio Perez’s form continuing to disappoint.

But reached out to our sources within the Red Bull team, where the rumours have been dismissed out of hand – one source even compared all the rumours to the waste products of the animal the team is named after!

Read more: Red Bull rumours denied as Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo linked to Sergio Perez seat

Toto Wolff offers update on Mercedes upgrade progress

With Mercedes keeping up the development of the W14 through the end of the year with stable regulations for next season, team boss Toto Wolff has explained the effect the upgrades are having on the car.

“I think we have seen that it is providing more downforce, more drivability, the car is a little bit less tricky,” he said.

“Still, the genes are there. Lewis said to me yesterday ‘She’s still so difficult to drive, although she’s faster.’ So I think for us, it was important to see whether, directionally, we were going in the right direction also for next year, and it seems to be on the right path.

“Because you must not forget the car that we’ve designed didn’t have that airflow, these side pods, leading edges, then all the Christmas decorations we have designed for what we have now. So hopefully that can be a step next year.”


Read more: Toto Wolff issues Mercedes upgrade report with more crucial data collected

Lewis Hamilton effect highlighted as Constructors’ battle reaches climax

With George Russell limping across the line in sixth on a day when Lewis Hamilton finished second in Mexico, the comparative performances of the two drivers has been addressed by former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer.

The BBC pundit suggested that it’s the ‘Hamilton effect’ keeping Mercedes in the commanding position against Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.

“[Ferrari are] still locked in this battle with Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship,” he said on the Chequered Flag podcast.

“There was a point in the early stages and on the grid where they were 1-2 and Mercedes were starting from sixth and eighth.

“And they didn’t take anything out of Mercedes. Now they did beat George Russell pretty comfortably, actually.

“So it is only, I think, the Hamilton effect right now that’s beating Ferrari.

“Russell, for the second weekend in a row, is behind and struggling a little bit. So how much of it is Lewis Hamilton finding his feet with these Mercedes upgrades?

Read more: ‘Lewis Hamilton effect’ in force with George Russell ‘struggles’ highlighted