Hamilton: Bottas can get his own data

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I was watching the recent live event on Facebook in which Lewis Hamilton answered fans questions and I thought he did a nice job of it as did the interviewer. It was a good event and no lag—for me anyway—so that’s always a positive.

During that interview, I was a bit surprised by his comments regarding his new teammate, Valtteri Bottas. They weren’t disparaging, far from it, but they weren’t the traditional high road either. He also called for an end of data sharing between teammates at Mercedes saying:

“I go out, do my laps, do all my homework, [and] the other guy can see everything,” said Hamilton.

“I have asked my team. I don’t want to see my team mate’s.

“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.

“For example when we’re driving we’re picking out braking points, bumps, tire rubber marks on the track, all these different things to help get you through the corner quickest.

“The other driver probably naturally may be able to do more or less than you are.

“But because of this data they can just copy you. ‘Oh he’s braking five meters later there, I’ll go out and I’ll try braking five meters later’.

“So that’s what I really dislike, because it enables them to get closer.

“That’s what I loved about go-karting; you weren’t able to do that and that was where just your raw talent is able to shine.”

With this comment and the general comments about his new teammate, I would suggest that he’s already starting the very public process of getting into Valtteri’s head a bit. Starting to set the stage for what he must perceive as a decent battle between them.

If you felt that Nico Rosberg was 100% of the consternation between teammates at Mercedes, this may give you more insight as to Lewis’s role in ramping up the tension within Mercedes. Not that Nico had no role, but he wasn’t the sole reason for the love loss between the two drivers.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a story about Lewis calling for no mechanic and engineer switching from his side of the garage—which he contributes as a key factor of why he lost the title last year—and this data sharing is yet another public shin-kick for his team before the season has even gotten started. These are typically issues that the team would discuss internally but Lewis is already setting the stage with these key issues attached to his personal brand rather than they being a part of the Mercedes brand. I find that interesting.

More power to Lewis, he’s built a large brand for himself and it is statements such as these that give one the impression that he is, in no way, considering himself as the team so much as Lewis Hamilton, the driver he’s allowed Mercedes to support. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that type of positioning.

I’m not the only person considering that Valtteri Bottas may not be a walk in the park for Lewis. I think the Fin has some serious pace and has honed his race craft on Williams F1’s dime. If you were looking at drivers ready to make the jump from mid-field to the sharp end of the grid, certainly Valtteri is one of the better choices.

Having said that, Bottas wasn’t always blowing his teammate, Felipe Massa, into the weeds either and Massa is a veteran who some pundits might argue is past his sell-by date. It’s difficult to know just how well Valtteri will do but he is no nonsense and has one year to make a difference and I think that contract limit will be enough pressure to make him push Lewis as hard as he can. With our without Lewis’s data.

I can think of a few occasions when Lewis benefitted from receiving Nico Rosberg’s data so you have to admire his willingness to forego that kind of help on weekends that may be more of a struggle for his side of the garage. He’s willing to roll the dice and I admire that.

On the other side of the coin, Lewis is asking for division within a team that Toto Wolff and management are trying very hard to keep whole with no division in ranks for sides of the garage.

Hat Tip: UBS Facebook


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Paul KieferJr

On the other side of the coin, every driver in NASCAR has their own pit crew, regardless of whether or not they’re a part of a team (though they do work together on occasion).

Schumi Toronto

I wonder what Toto and Nikki have to say about this. Do they tell Hammy to cool his jets and that data will be shared or will they let the two sides of the garage duel it out? I know what I’d do … I’d show Lewis who signs his cheques!

Purple Sector

Todd, this is pretty low. Really disappointed in you. Todd, If you actually watched the Q&A, then you understand the context in which these comments were presented. You should be ashamed of yourself for this spin. I guess you saw the story making the rounds on other F1 sites and figured you wanted a piece of that web traffic, although you were a little late to the party. Here’s the video for anyone interested in seeing it: It’s an fan question, beginning at 30:20 If you you could make one change in F1, what would it be? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C32kjgWdLEU&t=38s Despite what… Read more »

Salvu Borg

“Lulu’s comments were not directed at bottas”, who is his other team mate, who is the other driver possible to share his data?. oneeyedfanboyism can blind.

Purple Sector

I’m sorry but you don’t warrant a retort. Maybe put a little thought into it. You can start by watching the video. Come back with something substantive and maybe I’ll engage.

Salvu Borg

“His comments were not directed at Bottas”.
That’s as bright as a 1000W bulb.
Can anybody on God’s green earth name a driver from on the grid of whom is possible (being in a position) to share data with?.

RightTurnRosberg LoveTapLewis

Sunny, comprehension has never been your strong suit.

His comment was not directed at Bottas but to all drivers in general who are privy to their teammate’s data, including himself.

“I don’t feel that it’s fair that he brings his A-game and that I get to copy his A-game on a computer.”

It’s obvious that he wants the practice stopped and most true F1 fans, like myself, agree.

We know your hatred for Hamilton since your crash dot net days has always clouded your views. You are the original one eyed fanboy.

Purple Sector

Starting with “Lulu” is a dead giveway of your mindset. See Todd, this who your audience has become. I warned you.


I’m not disappointed by the constant character assassination of Lewis. It was to be expected considering the source.

Meine Postma

I can hear the Mercedes execs: “Not Hamilton again!”.

It would not surprise me if next year the Mercedes drivers are Vettel and Bottas.

Salvu Borg

The season hasn’t even started and already Mercedes had to come out to clarify A BRAIN FART FROM ONE OF ITS DRIVERS.
“fact is, this is a team sport and Mercedes wants both of its drivers to have the best possible chance of winning, AND THIS WILL INCLUDE SHARING DATA”.

Meine Postma

Did you ever notice that lower-case letters are actually better readable than upper-case letters?

That is because they are designed to be better readable;
also, it is better to use italics instead of bold.

Sorry, this is just me being pedantic ;-)

Clayton Brown

How do you do bold or italics on this forum?

Meine Postma

Use HTML-tags <i> </i>

Clayton Brown

cool thanks

Tim C

Ahhhhh . . . I’m getting so tired of Hamilton. Granted, great driver and possibly one of the best ever. He is awesome to watch drive a car. But, all the stuff outside the drivers cockpit I could do without. If I could have one wish this season it would be for Hamilton to just get in the car and drive and just keep the mouth shut. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask for.


And then you would rage against him for not speaking to the press. Lewis just can’t win with some, and should he care…..NO!


Todd, I think you’re guilty of reading too much agenda into Lewis’s words here, as indeed many other F1 journalists have done. Sadly I think its this kind of thing that encourages drivers to be close-lipped and parrot the team spiel rather than speak their mind. In my view, the context was that he was responding to fan questions about what he would like to change in F1 if he had the theoretical power to do so. His first point was that he’d remove most buttons from the steering wheel, put a manual gearbox in with an actual gear lever.… Read more »

Negative Camber

Longshot and Purple Sector: Actually I will talking about this on tonight’s show and I have no issue with his position, I actually like that about Lewis. What I’m saying is, he has already said he doesn’t want any mechanic swapping this year and would prefer not to share data—whether that’s a wish-list item or not—and it’s relatively clear he doesn’t want to share his data. He didn’t like that about his time with Nico either and it’s clear to see why because Nico made the most of it…as you would expect him to since the team is willing to… Read more »


Ok, no worries & thanks for clearing that up. Personally I’m a little tired of reading conspiracy theories projected onto every comment Lewis makes (it seems to happen with him far more often than other drivers) but I can see the reasoning behind what you said. I guess time will tell. If Merc start the season without data sharing, we’ll be able to say that Lewis did indeed push this agenda with them. If they do data share, the two drivers are neck & neck halfway into the season with the tension ramping up, and Lewis brings the issue up… Read more »

Negative Camber

Merc is going to share data, I don’t see that changing because they are a team with one mission…getting their cars 1, 2 in a race. As for mechanic swap, I understand your point and would just add that Merc is/was trying to avoid that us and them issue that crops up within teams when each camp gets too embedded with their side of the garage and their driver. I think Merc’s idea is a good one and keeps exposing their garage crew to different challenges and helps develop them individually. What they really wouldn’t want is an A and… Read more »


I do think Valterri can take the fight to Lewis. I’ve been a fan of the Finn for a long time, ever since I saw him going wheel to wheel with Danny Ric in Formula Renault 2.0 back in 2008 – plus the guy is an absolute gentleman. I believe his abilities have been masked by the clumsy Williams, and I hope he really shows what he’s capable of at Merc.

Negative Camber

I tend to agree with you. As I’ve mentioned on podcasts, Valtteri didn’t blow Massa into the weeds and while Felipe is a terrific driver and Valtteri did have the better of him, he’s not Lewis. I wonder if the pressure of a 1-year deal with see a different Valtteri or a raised game or even unforced errors…I hope not the latter.

Clayton Brown

I hope not, but I honestly think he’ll “coast”. 1-year deal, I think he’s afraid of pulling a Spanish GP type of collision and not getting a second year.

Hamilton is very aggressive. He put Rosberg in the position of “yield or we will crash”. I think Bottas’ only chance of beating LH will be to outqualify him / get ahead at the start.

Negative Camber

Just read an article today where Bottas seems to suggest that the team have spoken to him about it and his role. He sounded very resigned to the fact. “I am sure that the rules will be quite strict about what you can do and what you can’t.” “It is definitely tricky to be a team player and at the same time always trying to put yourself in front,” Bottas said. “It is a kind of a new situation for me. I think it’s best for me to carry on as I have always done, so I do everything for… Read more »

Clayton Brown

I think that’s the status quo. “Race hard, but don’t risk the results”.

I think if Bottas is leading, Hamilton will be aloud to race hard and maybe even touch wheels (gasps in disbelief). I think if Hamilton is leading, Bottas will have to keep like 3 feet between the cars at all times.

So I think they’ll def be a little biased towards Hamilton but nothing too crazy. Maybe 60/40?

Purple Sector

Wait…wait. wait…that sounds like conspiracy talk, Todd. Loving the hypocrisy. As far as I can see. The dirty driver that has instigated every crash(and penalized for it several times) has retired.

If Bottas can drive clean like Hamilton instead of crashing into people like Rosberg, I have no reason why Mercedes would not continue their policy of letting their two drivers. Hamilton can stand his own without favoritism. Are you implying Mercedes will favor Hamilton, a system like the one that saw MSC, Vettel and Alonso rack up titles?

Clayton Brown

I’m a big fan of his too. I hope his pace wasn’t exaggerated by Massa’s lack there of (sorry Massa).

Purple Sector

Come on Todd. Give it a rest. I’m not as forgiving as longshot.

Instead of putting your hand up and saying “my bad,” you dug your hells deeper. I’m not even going to try and correct you because it would be pointless. Your negative bias towards Hamilton is there to see clear as day. BTW, Button has come out and said the tweet from Hamilton was actually not even his. It wasn’t real data, it was simulation data. And it was Hamilton’s data. Pathetic you would use this as some kind of justification for your terrible article.

Salvu Borg

The infection called foot in mouth decease is not easy to get rid of, it leads to brain farts such as the firsts in F1 history, “I laid because I was told too” “the Button data tweets” “the go-swivel to the man that adopted him from nothing to up where he is today . and yes One eyed fanboyism can easily blind.

Meine Postma

With whom did he lay?

Negative Camber

That’s fair enough, if you listened to the podcast we posted tonight, you’ll find that I applaud your calling me out on reading too much in to it. I still think his comments on Valtteri can be seen as suggesting a supporting role. That’s pretty obvious. I think his comments of data sharing are just that, you and Longshot are correct, he’s not asking Merc to stop but suggesting he would like it to stop if he could change one thing. Can’t see that happening though I do find that an interesting choice. Of all the things in F1 he… Read more »

Clayton Brown

Exactly. This is the point; are other drivers as against helping their teammates as Lewis? I don’t think that makes him a bad driver, I think Senna was pretty cut throat like that, but it is what it is. Max and Ricciardo in my mind is a good opposite. I have no inside knowledge, but my gut tells me both of them are of the mindset of “Let’s settle this on the track”. Lewis (and many others) are of the mindset of win at all costs – even if it’s off track, mind games, etc. Again, not saying it’s a… Read more »

Clayton Brown

Just get it over with. Call Hamilton, express your love for him, and ask him to marry.

RightTurnRosberg LoveTapLewis

Unbelievable. You made it look like Hamilton was quoted as saying that Bottas can get his own data. The colon (:) is a punctuation universally used to attribute a statement, equation or quote from a particular source. It was rather devious. Click baiting, almost. When in fact, it was clear what Hamilton is saying – that even HE thinks it is unfair that he is allowed to see his teammates’ A-game data. It is there clear as day. “I don’t feel that it’s fair that he (his teammate) brings his A-game and that I get to copy his A-game on… Read more »

Clayton Brown

Just a note on the Hamilton vs Rosberg debate. I’ve been doing a pretty fun analysis of drivers using the ELO system in chess which gives you a rating based only on how well you perform vs. your teammate. I decided to do this for qualifying and ignore the race (to find the “quickest”). What was interesting is that Hamilton and Rosberg are the closest in comparison – and I thought they would be the furthest apart. As a metric I used the difference in qualifying time expressed as a percentage. So, with lower lap times .2 seconds is a… Read more »

RightTurnRosberg LoveTapLewis

As Brawn once said, the difference between Nico and Lewis is miniscule. Whoever is having a good day/weekend will come out on top. I think that is why it was important for Lewis to have had the same number of opportunities to score maximum points as Nico because of the slight difference in performance between the two drivers. He said so himself, he just wants equal opportunity. Malaysia gave Lewis once less opportunity for him to score whatever maximum points he could in that race. It turned out to be the difference in the championship.

Zachary Noepe

This comes up from time to time of course, it was a big deal in GP motorcycles when Mick Doohan ruled, because they’d keep plugging in teammates who would end up right close to him quickly, because Mick was a setup ace and had a lot of years of data at each track. I guess my question is whether Lewis felt this way when he was a junior member of a team, or for instance the first year he was on Merc, you know like ‘I don’t want to know what your baselines are or what you’ve had success with… Read more »

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