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Hamilton was "a rockstar" when he joined Mercedes - Bonnington

Hamilton was "a rockstar" when he joined Mercedes - Bonnington



Hamilton was "a rockstar" when he joined Mercedes - Bonnington

Hamilton was "a rockstar" when he joined Mercedes - Bonnington

Mercedes race engineer Peter Bonnington has revealed Lewis Hamilton was like "a rockstar" when the Briton first arrived at the team in 2013.

The pair have worked together since Hamilton made the move from McLaren, winning seven constructors' titles and six drivers' championships together.

After Hamilton picked up his 10th win of the season in Turkey on Sunday to clinch a record-equalling seventh title, Bonnington recounted the first time he met and worked with the British driver.

"Obviously, the first time he comes to the factory, that is the first time we meet and the first time we start working," he told Sky Sports F1.

"It felt like he was a rockstar walking in. Just looking back at the pictures and you are like 'Wow! This is Lewis!"

After previously working with Michael Schumacher prior to Hamilton's arrival, Bonnington added: "I had Michael, such a legend, a great driver to have worked with.

"Then Lewis comes along and he is the new breed, he is here and he is the rockstar and I am the one in charge. I am probably the triangle, symbols maybe. Some bit of percussion." Since being together, Bonnington believes that both have "grown-up" over the years, in particular, praising the all-round development of Hamilton as a person and a driver.

In speaking on the relationship between the pair and how he is able to let his driver vent during races in order to keep an equilibrium of balance, Bonnington pointed towards Hamilton's strength as a defining feature of his personality. Conceding there is a huge amount of respect between them, Bonnington added: "Massively, that is what relationships are all about isn't it? It is building that trust between each other and understanding what you really mean when you say something. It is not just what you say, it is how you say it.

"We have grown up over these years, since 2013. I guess I still consider myself quite a young engineer back in those days.

"Michael's years gave me such a learning ground. Wow! It was a very steep learning curve but then with Lewis, even then, I didn't feel like I was probably worthy of dealing with [someone] already a world champ.

"But it is just having time with him. We just kept improving, chipping away year on year, finding the next thing we could learn - where can we find that next bit of performance?

"He just embraces it, which is really great. It is the thing people probably don't see but it is just that ability to learn and just soak up the next thing.

"Back then, he wasn't quite as polished as he is now. I mean, now, wow! Performances like that, just the strength that he has just shone through."

Before you go...

Hamilton's chilling message "a scary thing" for rivals - Rosberg

Turkish Grand Prix lottery "not what Formula 1 is about" - Russell


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