Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Barcelona, Spain, 2022

No concerns over Mercedes’ strategies despite radio messages – Hamilton

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says that his radio messages appearing to question Mercedes’ strategy calls just show his desire to succeed.

Formula 1’s world television feed has played multiple radio messages from Hamilton this season suggesting he was unhappy with certain strategy calls made by the team after he fell behind team mate George Russell during races.

In the later laps of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Hamilton was heard telling race engineer Peter Bonnington “you guys put me in a really difficult position” after Russell pitted under a Safety Car to move into third position. Other messages not broadcast on the world feed showed Hamilton was actually referring to the need to lift and coast to reduce the temperature of his power unit.

During the Miami Grand Prix, a similar message was broadcast on the world feed where he said “the strategy’s not been too kind to me, man.” Hamilton was passed by Russell after his team mate was able to save time by pitting during a Safety Car period.

Asked by RaceFans’ Claire Cottingham whether he had any concerns about Mercedes’ strategy decisions, Hamilton says he had faith in his team’s tactical decision-making.

“Firstly, we continue to work hard,” Hamilton said. “I don’t have any problems with strategy. We learn every weekend. We had great discussions before and afterwards. We’ve been a little unfortunate.”

However, Hamilton says that viewers that hear his radio messages must keep in mind the high stress situation he and drivers are under when they make them.

“I definitely feel – it’s no secret that for those who are watching and what is broadcast, it’s hard for anybody to truly understand what it’s like in the car,” Hamilton said. “Your emotions are higher than ever, your heart rate is very high.

“Maybe a woman would understand, maybe, having to give the answers during the difficult scenarios. But it’s never the same as when you’re cool and chill and just having a normal conversation with someone than when your heart rate’s as high as it is, you don’t always have the best answers to everything.

“But also it just shows there’s a lot of passion, there’s that desire to do well.”

Hamilton also rubbished claims he had reacted negatively to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s recent suggestion that former F1 race director Michael Masi could return in the future. Masi was replaced in the aftermath of last year’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where he was found not to have followed the rules in arranging a last-lap restart, after which Hamilton lost the lead of the race and, with it, the world championship.

“I only heard of that story a couple of days ago, firstly,” said Hamilton of the report. “I haven’t spoken to anyone. I’ve not done an interview for that newspaper for probably 10 years. So it’s inaccurate, as are some of – most of – the stories.

“I don’t really have a particular feeling about it. I’ve not given it any thought. I don’t know what Mohammed has said, I’ve not read his story, I don’t know what his agenda is.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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10 comments on “No concerns over Mercedes’ strategies despite radio messages – Hamilton”

  1. I’ll be more concerned when Lewis doesn’t moan – as it will mean he’s no longer enthused by F1.

    The four greats of the last 15 years, Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen and Hamilton – are, quite rightly, always questioning decisions when they they think they are wrong.

    1. Bruno Verrari
      20th May 2022, 22:01

      You forgot Räikkönen.

      1. Raikkonen is not at the same level as those, I never liked vettel but he was definitely significantly stronger in their time at ferrari.

  2. Constantijn Blondel
    20th May 2022, 12:46

    “Maybe a woman would understand” LOLWUT, Lewis?

    1. Chris Horton
      20th May 2022, 14:19


    2. I also found that reference interesting.

    3. I also didn’t understand it.

      1. ThreePurpleSectors (@)
        21st May 2022, 7:36

        Are you a woman? Cause if you were you’d understand.

    4. the reference I mean

  3. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
    20th May 2022, 13:50

    As with any radio message pumped out on a live broadcast we are at the mercy of the TV production as to who they choose to play. I have no doubt that every driver moans or comments in the heat of the moment in all racing series around the world and does not sound relaxed and thoughtful. But of course a former world champion’s comments are more interesting than say Latifi.

Comments are closed.