Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Why F1 team mates have to share data – Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton move to clarify comments

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have clarified their positions on Formula 1 data sharing after the triple world champion threatened to kick off the new...

Why F1 team mates have to share data – Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton move to clarify comments

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have clarified their positions on Formula 1 data sharing after the triple world champion threatened to kick off the new season and the relationship with his new team mate with a polemic, suggesting he would like to stop sharing data.

Following Hamilton’s appearance at a sponsor event where he said, amongst other lines, “I don't feel it's fair that he brings his A-game and I should be able to study his A-game on a computer,” Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff explained that the British driver’s remarks had been misinterpreted.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Wolff said: “I spoke with Lewis and [he] was misinterpreted. To a question about what he would do to improve the show, he replied that the ideal [situation] would be not to reveal the data of teammates. [In] modern F1 [this is] unenforceable because only in this way, by exchanging the information, can we develop the machines.”

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton had already issued his own clarification about the remarks and explained that his point about data sharing was meant to be a comment on how he would improve F1 in general and was not an attempt to hurt the progress of his new teammate Valtteri Bottas, whom Mercedes signed to replace Nico Rosberg at the Brackley-based team for 2017.

Writing on Twitter, Hamilton said: “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.”

Valtteri Bottas

There have been occasional examples of teammates refusing to work together and share information in F1’s history – notably Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at McLaren, and Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet at Williams in the late 1980s – but today with infinitely more data available and with it being far more central to how an F1 team operates, it is now de rigeur to share data across both sides of the garage.

It is a mistake to read too much into this episode, but it is arguably one of the small aftershocks from the end of last season and Hamilton's unhappiness at being instructed to speed up in the final laps, which cost him any chance to change the destiny of the championship. He and Wolff have spoken, but with his friend-come-nemesis Nico Rosberg gone, Hamilton will expect to be very much the top dog in the Mercedes team.

Hamilton’s thoughts on data sharing also covered young drivers entering F1 and using existing data to get up to speed; a practice the 32-year-old says he does not agree with.

Here he has a slightly selective memory as when Hamilton graduated to F1 in 2007 with McLaren F1 team he was able to benefit greatly from seeing data such as racing lines, braking points and steering inputs world champion team mate Fernando Alonso was collecting in the sister car.

But the impression from his statements was that he now feels drivers should explore the limits of the cars and keep the results to themselves.

Hamilton Alonso 2007

He said: "They should be able to go out there on their own and find it all themselves, without you. You could take a young kid from Formula 3, have them just go on a simulator and drive every single day and try and get to my lines. And eventually they'd probably get to my lines.

"He should have to discover that himself. You've got to find the limit yourself, that's the whole challenge of being a racing driver. When I get in this new car it's seeing what the limit of it is. If I can't do it on my own then I'm not good enough and I don't deserve to be there. And there are some drivers that don't."

What do you make of Hamilton’s remarks? Should F1 drivers share data with their teammates? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
shares
comments
Renault eyes 0.3s a lap step from new 2017 F1 engine
Previous article

Renault eyes 0.3s a lap step from new 2017 F1 engine

Next article

Renault declares new F1 engine is "95% different" to 2016 unit

Renault declares new F1 engine is "95% different" to 2016 unit
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021