Ted Kravitz casts major doubt over Mercedes ‘dream team’ after key departures

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the pits.

View of Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes pit box from above.

Sky F1’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz questioned whether losing another key figure in Mike Elliott could be the straw which breaks the camel’s back for the Mercedes “dream team”.

Mercedes confirmed ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix that their chief technical officer Elliott had called time on his 11-year association with the team.

While Mercedes have fallen away from the title scene over the past two seasons, that during Elliott’s time as technical director and a return to chief technical officer, this year reversing the role swap with James Allison, team boss Toto Wolff, as well as drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, have been clear in their defence of Elliott’s major contributions.

Can the Mercedes “dream team” still bounce back?

Mercedes’ glory days, where they won eight Constructors’ titles in a row from 2014-2021, already though feel like a long time ago, with several pivotal figures in that success having moved on.

Elliott follows the likes of former design chief Aldo Costa, ex-engine boss Andy Cowell and former chief strategist James Vowles out of the door at Mercedes, leaving Kravitz with question marks over whether what remains of the Mercedes “dream team” can, as targeted, return to the F1 title scene.

Speaking on his ‘Ted’s Notebook’ programme, Kravitz said: “I ask myself, it’s the first race since the departure of their chief technical officer Mike Elliott, who was instrumental in so much of their success, even though he was in charge of the design group which got these last two cars so wrong, is the Mercedes dream team changing fundamentally now in a way that they can quickly bounce back and become that dream team again?

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“James Allison is still there, Toto Wolff is still there, Andrew Shovlin is still there, but there has been some key departures – Andy Cowell, James Vowles, the Italian engineer [Aldo Costa].

“And I’m just wondering, like all dream teams change, whether there is some transformation about this team, and whether they’re going through a bit of a change and whether that dream team ethic and quality can survive next year?

“Lewis Hamilton believes they can, so I think we have to believe they can as well, but that’s going to be a challenge going forward.”

Mercedes, like all of the chasing pack, face a monumental challenge to reel Red Bull in for F1 2024, the team which has accounted for 19 grand prix wins out of a possible 20 in F1 2023.

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