A frustrated Lewis Hamilton says his tetchy U.S. GP radio messages were misconstrued
Hamilton says he may now cut down messages next season
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 22/11/13 6:11pm
Lewis Hamilton has expressed his frustration with the media's portrayal of his radio messages during last week's United States GP and threatened to limit his in-race communications as a result next season.
En-route to achieving fourth place in Sunday's race at Austin, a result which represented his best for seven races, the fraught nature of Hamilton's radio exchanges with his race engineer Peter Bonnington were put under an intense spotlight after he appeared to issue conflicting instructions about the level of information he required.
When provided with about the tyres early in the race, Hamilton asked to be left alone. Later, however, he demanded more information from Bonnington, stating: "You need to give me some feedback, man, tyres, temperatures."
Speaking ahead of this weekend's season finale in Brazil, however, a disgruntled Hamilton sought to clarify his Austin messages and stress that he required different levels of input from his engineer at different stages of the race.
"It's so intense and your emotions are at the maximum and then sometimes you get information, sometimes you don't get information," the 2008 World Champion told Sky Sports News.
"Sometimes you need information, sometimes you don't need information. Sometimes it happens when you're just in the braking zone of a corner, which is distracting, and so sometimes you need to just say 'leave me to it'. But when you come out of a pitstop you need to need to know all the information about your tyres nowadays, front tyres, rear tyres, brake temperatures, all this stuff.
"So it can be really massively misconstrued. It's a bit frustrating to see all the stories out about it."
Indeed, such is the apparent disgruntlement Hamilton feels, the Briton has suggested he will cut down completely on car-to-pits radio messages in 2014.
"My engineers and everyone in the team are just as competitive as me. When you're driving you forget that everyone's announcing this stuff on the TV, so it's kind a little bit unfair, it's kind of cheating you," he added.
"I'm going to have to make changes for the future so next year you might not hear any radio transmission from me, simply because it's just always just taken into negativity."
In the wake of last Sunday's race, Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn played down the exchanges, insisting the team were "just getting used to working with Lewis" following the former McLaren driver's arrival at Brackley at the start of the year.
On Thursday Hamilton made clear he didn't have any problems with Bonnington and had sought to reassure the engineer that he was doing a good job.
"I have a great relationship with my engineer," Hamilton insisted.
"The poor guy, I've already spoke to him and said 'I'm sorry you're probably really confused about my communication in the last race but you're doing a great job'. They've done an incredible job all year."