Former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan has urged Toto Wolff to "stand up and take" criticism in the wake of Mercedes' difficult start to the new campaign.
The German manufacturer fell from the top of the standings last season and whilst victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix at the end of the campaign provided optimism of renewing a rivalry with Red Bull this term, the W14 has failed to live up to expectations.
Lewis Hamilton was able to secure a second-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix to clinch Mercedes' first podium of the campaign, yet the gulf separating the Silver Arrows and Red Bull ensures the race for solutions continues.
Team Principal Wolff was forthright in his criticism of the W14 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with his dismay backed by Hamilton, something that hasn't settled well with Jordan.
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'I love teasing Toto'
Referring to a comment made during television coverage at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2016 in which he suggested Mercedes had 'weak management', Jordan told the Formula For Success podcast: "I love teasing Toto, what is it about me and Toto?
"I love it because he just takes it. And he should tell me to 'get stuffed' sometimes and that might help, but I'd still do it though nevertheless.
"I think Toto is a really good addition to Formula 1. I think he has massive attributes. But I've been critical in the last couple of episodes [of Formula For Success] where I think where he was critical of his designers and his engineers, and I'd say 'well hang on a second'.
"When I was the boss of Jordan, if the car was good, I took all the acclaim and of course, if the car was bad, you tried to put it on somebody else.
"But actually, you've got to stand up and take it. You've got to be a man. It happened under his watch. He's the chief executive of the team and my message to Toto was that I would much prefer if he stood up and said, 'We at Mercedes are a team, will always be a team and we got this wrong'."
"Do I still think he's weak? No, I don't think he's weak. But he certainly manages differently to how I would," added Jordan.
"I was kind of ruthless and if there was flack going around, I would take it, or I wanted to take it because I always wanted to safeguard the other people who were maybe not quite as proficient as dodging bullets as I was and I could all tell them to go and get stuffed if I want to and they kind of took it.
"Whereas I think Toto is in the same position. He should tell these people to get stuffed, if that's what he needs to say and he at this stage of his life, he should know, and he does know how to dodge bullets.
"But that's not a form of weakness. That's just a different style of management and I have a huge regard... look, this guy has won a million times more than what I've ever won, so how could I be critical of him?
"So well done, keep doing it. But I would love if you could give that team a slightly better car. Because Toto we're desperate. We need somebody to take it to two Red Bull and at the moment, no one can see that happening."
Balve Baines is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.