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Hamilton wow factor continues to "surprise" Mercedes - Bonnington

Hamilton wow factor continues to "surprise" Mercedes - Bonnington

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Hamilton wow factor continues to "surprise" Mercedes - Bonnington

Hamilton wow factor continues to "surprise" Mercedes - Bonnington

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes race engineer Pete Bonnington has conceded the Briton's title-winning display in Turkey surprised even him despite their many years together.

Mercedes had struggled across the early phases of the weekend in Istanbul and missed out on pole for the first time this year, with Hamilton qualifying sixth and team-mate Valtteri Bottas ninth.

After just six laps, Hamilton trailed pole-sitter and race leader Lance Stroll by an entire pit stop, but he fought back to take victory by over half-a-minute and, in doing so, secure a seventh world title.

Despite working alongside Hamilton since his 2013 move to the team, Bonnington confessed he was as amazed as anyone else by the 35-year-old's championship-clinching drive.

"Nobody could not be surprised by that performance," Bonnington told Sky Sports F1.

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"We know he has it in him but when he delivers, you just think 'Wow! I didn't see that coming'. I mean, I am optimistic, but I didn't see it happening just like that. Mid-race, when we were on the inter and settled into a pace, he was just fully under control.

"You can always tell on the radio when the voice goes into this nice, calm state you think 'Right, this is in control. Let's just keep chipping away’."

During races, Bonnington can often be heard on the team radio acting as a calming influence on the new seven-time champion.

Asked how important it is to allow Hamilton to "let off steam" during a race, Bonnington answered: "Well, I think it is one of those things I completely understand and fully get where he is coming from.

"He is on this emotional rollercoaster in a race. The pressure is so high, so intense, the adrenaline is pumping and I can understand how you can be bouncing from massive disappointment to euphoria.

"What I like to try and do is maintain a level and allow him to experience that and try and dampen that down and make sure we are all on a level."

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