Hamilton’s frustration with Mercedes’ in-race communication has reached its tipping point. The Brit had to give up on a rather straightforward race win in Australia as the Mercedes team had communicated to him that he would definitely stay in front of Vettel, who was coming out of a pit lane during the VSC in Albert Park.
That wasn’t the case to be as Mercedes were plagued by a software issue and Hamilton ended up losing the Australian Grand Prix despite being the fastest on track.
The Bahrain Grand Prix had more of the same for Hamilton, who was unable to hear what his team was communicating to him all through the grand prix. He was genuinely frustrated with how the entire system worked, as he was forced to take attention away from his driving.
“It was just difficult to know how hard to lean on the tyres in the early phases,” Hamilton explained.
“Because at one point I understood that the [Ferrari] guys were doing two stops, and there’s no way they’re going to get to the end on the one stop.
“And I’ve got to save tyres so that when we’re at the end and he catches me I can still fight.
“Or I’ve got to catch him while the tyres are still good and close the gap to the best of my ability, because they’re doing a one-stop. I didn’t have that information, so there was lots of driving around in no man’s land for a while. But that’s just something we need to work on.
“The radio wasn’t working properly, and in the heat of the moment it’s difficult to know what information you need to give.
“They couldn’t hear me. I could hear them, but they were always coming back saying ‘I can’t hear you’. And when you’re trying to give feedback out of a corner, you’re taking your mind off driving the perfect line.” he added.
Hamilton revealed that Mercedes will get back to the drawing board and revisit their feedback strategy and how they could improve on it in the 2018 season.
“We’re going to sit down and discuss the last two races. Different drivers like different feedback. I don’t have a ton. There are times you need more.
“If you haven’t spoken about it and set up a strategy to action what you need, the guys are stressed in the garage because they have messages from the pitwall, messages coming from both sides, it’s stressful for someone like ‘Bono’ – and then I come in.
“We’re going to sit down and discuss it and try to work on the points and improve, and I have no doubt we will.
“I don’t want them to talk to me all the time when they don’t need to. It’s just working out a rapport that works best. It’s even more important that it’s precise information.” the Brit said.
Hamilton desperately wants Mercedes to pull up its socks as the battle with Ferrari is going to be fierce this time round.
“It’s very marginal now, so it really highlights or magnifies the importance of communications and these small little things that can make a difference of seven points or not. If you look at the last race, we should have won that race.
“And through struggling to understand how we operate, communicate, we did lose the race. I think looking back there were things we could have done to make sure we came out ahead. And then I’m not sure how it was for Valtteri [Bottas], I think it was not ideal for him either.
“These races we can’t afford to be losing to Ferrari. And so we need to get ourselves in a place where we’re not only strong in our operations in the car, but also in the race.”