Lewis Hamilton has defended recently departed Mercedes Chief Technical Officer Mike Elliott following his departure from the team ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Elliott had left the Brackley team after 11 years. He had previously been replaced as Mercedes Technical Director by James Allison in April.

Having begun his tenure in the position in 2021, Elliott oversaw Mercedes’ pursuit of the ‘zeropod’ philosophy which resulted in the collapse of its eight-year reign at the top.

With fierce rivals Red Bull picking up the baton and replacing Mercedes in that dominant position since 2022, the team opted to abandon the concept earlier this year.

While the upgrades have not provided a silver bullet, a marked improvement in results has been observed with Mercedes now occupying second, 22 points ahead of Ferrari.

However, on the news of Elliott’s departure, Hamilton has shielded his former colleague from criticism, insisting that no ‘single individual is responsible’ for its current predicament.

“What we have to remember is nothing is down to one person. We do everything as a team,” the seven-time champion said on Thursday.

“There are so many moving parts at the factory, so there’s not a single individual responsible for where we are, it’s a collective.

“I’m definitely sad to see Mike go. I have known him since my McLaren days,” he continued. Elliott joined McLaren in 2000, before making the switch to Renault in 2008 and joining Mercedes in 2012 ahead of a reunion with Hamilton in 2013.

“Before I raced for McLaren [in F1], he was there.  I have had a great relationship with Mike. I’ve loved working with him, within this team. He’s such an intelligent individual.

“He was someone I would always speak to on aerodynamics. He was amazing at explaining everything to me, so I learned a lot from him.

“But it’s his decision to move on and do something different. I wish him absolutely all the best and I’m super grateful for all his contributions over these years. I know whatever he’s going to do next, he’s going to be great because he’s a super brain.”

The podium (L to R): second placed Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 with Mike Elliot (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Head of Aero and race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
11.05.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Race Day.
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Now almost two full seasons since F1’s regulatory reset, George Russell remains the marque’s only victor having picked up top honours in a ground-effect Mercedes.

“It’s never one individual who makes or breaks success,” Russell added via Sky F1. “It’s always a collective. You’ve always got a leader, somebody at the helm sort of steering the ship.

“We have five exceptionally talented designers, engineers, who are at the top of the design group. Then we have an amazing design office, aerodynamics department and racing… who [all] follow their lead,”

“As the saying goes ‘we win and lose together,’” the told 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix winner added.

“Mike has been a huge part of the team and it’s very important that we remember he was the chief aerodynamicist during all of the glory years, and arguably, alongside the technical director, that is the most vital part of every F1 team. Mike has been a huge part of that success and I wish him well.”

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