Lewis Hamilton has jokingly admitted that he’s come extremely close to bluffing his own team with his radio messages about the state of his tyres during a race. The seven-time world champion is preparing for the start of pre-season testing ahead of the 2022 F1 season.
There had been some concern in the aftermath of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he would walk away from F1.
But Hamilton finally put those rumours to bed at Mercedes’ W13 car launch on Friday insisting he’s more fired up than ever.
With new regulations in place this season, not much will be clear on how fast and competitive the cars will be.
Each driver will be trying to get one leg up on their rivals and Hamilton is a master in F1 of doing just that.
F1 team radio has been a regular part of the TV broadcast for decades now, and each driver uses it in their own way.
Over the past few years though, Hamilton has regularly gone viral for his messages to ‘Bono’ (Peter Bonnington) – particularly on the state of his tyres.
The 37-year-old would regularly say to his race engineer that his tyres are gone, but then raise eyebrows a few laps later by putting in the fastest time.
And Hamilton has opened up on his approach to team radio interactions while speaking on CrowdStrike’s YouTube channel.
George Kurtz jokingly asked whether Hamilton was always telling the truth when he jumps on team radio to complain about the state of his tyres.
Hamilton was laughing throughout Kurtz’s comments before saying: “Sometimes, the worst thing if you bluff your own teams. [Laughs] So you’ve got to be careful.
“In the past, there have been times where it’s worked in benefit but it’s a very, very, very fine line.
“The other teams are listening to what you’re saying, so everyone is listening out to who’s pitting when.
“I don’t know if people that are watching know that we call the latest time on the lap when they can call me in for a pit stop so usually the second to last or last corner.
“That gives the team enough time to get the tyres run out before the other team can react.
“That’s super exciting. I really enjoy that.”