Pre-Season Thoughts Of Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton had a chat with the media here at Silverstone on launch day of the new Mercedes W08. His thoughts make pretty interesting reading especially when talking about data sharing and team-mates.
A lot has been made lately about Lewis’ comments about not wanting to share data with team mates, of course this would come up and he moved quickly to clarify his comments. ‘Firstly the data that the team gathers is fantastic, the team still needs to move forward with technology to improve that car and give us the best car.’ My point is that I like to turn up, drive in my style and learn my own way, now someone can look at my data, see where they are losing out and adjust their style accordingly. They should take that away so drivers have to feel and find their own way, it will be better for the sport and better for the fans’.
His views are pretty strong on this, and he does have a point. Maybe its a little too easy for drivers to copy the style of their team-mate and not have to learn for themselves?
The retirement of Nico and appointment of Valtteri Bottas as his team mate was also an interesting point of questioning. ‘I empathise with Nico, I understand why as F1 is so intense. Although you’ll have to ask him’ [about why racing against Lewis took so much out of him]. Lewis stated that he’s only met Valterri 3 times since being appointed and one of those was last night at the factory watching the car being built. Although he said that their atmosphere at the moment is ‘Just Gentlemanly Conversation’ as there is no competition between them as of yet. Although ‘I want to beat him and would expect him to want to do the same’. He did also add ‘I’ve never missed a team-mate yet!’ When asked if he missed Nico
The British superstar is still cautious on the 2017 regulations and retains the belief that what his engineers have told him will be correct, with fatter wider cars, more aero etc that passing will be harder although they do look amazing. He still doesn’t like the sound of the current-gen F1 machines however he understands the way automotive technology is advancing.
We discussed tyres as the new tyres could well play an important role in the races during 2017, being bigger and wider it is widely believed that they will no longer degrade and will continue to allow drivers to push. Lewis certainly relishes the prospect of this. ‘Look at Monica last year, I fell back through the field and had to choose how to use my tyre life carefully. I overtook a few cars and got up to 2nd place but couldn’t chase down for the win because I had nothing left, I’d spent all my money on tyres so to speak’. He added that he was looking forward to being able to push every lap.
On the wider subject of F1 and social media, Lewis was asked what he thought the new owners could learn about F1 and being more visible on social media. “We need to look at Football and NFL etc and see how they use social media as its an amazing growth opportunity. It’s not my expertise to teach them but they will see they need to change it.” He also revealed that he expects the new owners to be more open as previously when uploading a video etc he has been given a telling off buy the FIA and asked to take them down.
Overall Lewis’ first impressions of the car are that he hasn’t seen any of its potential yet, it was damp and very windy here at Silverstone when he shook the car down this morning so didn’t learn a lot but has spent a lot of time at the factory and believes it to be the most detailed car they have ever produced. Although it does ‘Look Awesome’ and should look much better for the fans.
2017 spec Lewis seems relaxed, confident, maybe even more grown up and ready to do battle. He hopes he will get to fight with other teams and that for the fans sake F1 is much closer at the front. Lewis stated that he has learned so much in his 10 years of F1 and that has really ‘Grown as a human’. The disappointments of 2016 are clearly now a distant memory.