Mercedes F1 has admitted that it is still learning to get the best out of Lewis Hamilton, in the wake of his fraught radio conversations during the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton was heard complaining to his team early in the race that he was being given too much information as he was trying to concentrate on driving. Later on, however, his stance totally changed as he urged Mercedes to give him more feedback.
“You need to give me some feedback man about my tires, my temperatures. When to push more, less,” he said.
Although the contrasting messages may seem bizarre to outsiders, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn reckoned it was just part of the non-stop learning process that Formula 1 teams and drivers go through.
“You have to realize there is a massive amount of adrenaline and energy, and huge battles going on,” said Brawn. “Lewis was trying to balance conserving the tires and keeping a good distance, so he could not be attacked from behind.
“He did a great job with the car he had. We were trying to help him by giving him information that we think will help him, but sometimes we overload it and we say too much. But that is not a problem.”
When asked if it was a worry that Hamilton had been contradictory over what he wanted to hear, Brawn said: “No, I don’t think that is an issue. You have to recognize that drivers inevitably are in a different environment and when they are racing a car they are all going to be different. So you just calibrate whether it is an issue or not. I don’t think it is an issue with Lewis.
“We will still give him the information that we think is important. There will be times when we give him information that he thinks he doesn’t need, in which case we will know not to give it.
“It is no issue. We just are getting used to the rapport.”