If Mercedes thought that it would go a bit smoother this year between their drivers following the departure of Nico Rosberg, the early signs aren’t great.
Hamilton has already given a viewpoint that appears to work against Valtteri Bottas. The British driver said,
“I go out, do my laps, do all my homework…. the other guy can see everything.
When we’re driving we’re picking out braking points, bumps, tyre rubber marks on the track, all these different things to help get you through the corner quickest,But because of this data [sharing] they can just copy you. ‘Oh, he’s braking five metres later there, I’ll go out and I’ll try braking five metres later’. So that’s what I really dislike, because it enables them to get closer”.
– Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton didn’t have an issue with this system when he first joined Mercedes and Rosberg’s data was passed over to get him up to speed. Another contradiction that suggests that Hamilton only wants to do this to subdue Bottas is the fact that at McLaren in 2012, Hamilton wanted Jenson Button’s data because Button was putting in better performances at that point. He infamously tweeted the telemetry data online in a sulk that royally pissed off McLaren.
If the Brit was completely confident in his own game, and believed without hesitation that he could beat the new Finn, he probably wouldn’t be either a) being snide against his new teammate or b) alluding to being snide to such a degree that the press can quote him out of context. It suggests that Hamilton is a bit nervous and his comments just add to the anticipation of seeing both of them fighting on-track in 2017.
Hamilton later took to Twitter to clarify his statement, he wrote,
“I wish to clarify, I have not hit out at my team at all. My point on data sharing is solely my feelings about the sport in general. It has been my feeling since the day I started F1 and still is 10 years later. There is zero problems in my team, zero problems with Bottas.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Will Hamilton have any problems off the line at Melbourne? Here are some predictions for the opening race:
Well, there you go, it was all just a massive coincidence. Thank christ for Twitter. Hamilton has turned into a very big character in the paddock and probably knows that these statements will stir the media. He also knows at the same time that his very loyal following will stick with him regardless of what he says. Bottas would probably do very well to remain focused on his own performances and not rise to the bait.