‘Except for Roscoe’: Lewis Hamilton makes comment about Peter Bonnington

Lewis Hamilton and his race engineer Peter Bonnington are entering their 11th season working together.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has reflected on his relationship with race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington, as the duo approach a significant milestone in 2023.

Since Hamilton’s switch from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013, many things have changed at the Brackley-based outfit.

He’s had team-mates come and go; he’s dealt with team personnel switching sides (most recently James Vowles), but one thing that has always remained the same is having Bono by his side.

Bonnington has been the 38-year-old’s race engineer since the start of the British driver’s time with the Silver Arrows, meaning that they are entering their 11th season working together.

READ: Lewis Hamilton reacts to James Vowles’ exit on Instagram

With this in mind, Hamilton has revealed how “incredibly grateful” he is to have Bonnington alongside him every race, with the 103-time Grand Prix labelling his race engineer as “like a brother to me”.

“I’m incredibly grateful for Bono. I’ve had an amazing journey with him, I think we’ve got one of the longest, if not the longest standing driver-engineer partnerships that there’s been, and he’s been hugely integral to my success,” he said, per Formula1.com.

“We’ve had an amazing journey together, we’ve supported each other on and off-track, through good and bad times, and I love working with Bono; he’s like a brother to me, a brother from another mother.

“I think he’s probably one of the few people that can truly stand me, I would say, on the good and bad days – except for Roscoe [Hamilton’s dog] – and how calm he’s able to be throughout a race, and how he’s able to help guide and help me navigate through a race. I don’t think there’s many people that can do that.”

Article continues below

By competing with Mercedes for an 11th year, Hamilton will match Michael Schumacher’s record of 11 seasons with Ferrari, with the question now being how many more years will the Stevenage-born driver remain as a Mercedes driver?

One of the key features of Hamilton’s relationship with Bonnington is the famous phrase he is given by Bono when his pace needs to increase to its maximum, ‘Hammer Time’.

Interestingly, Hamilton is certain that it was him who created the code message between the duo, having become “frustrated” with how Bonnington used to tell him to speed up.

READ: Saudi Arabia unveils ambitious 20-year plan as it targets first-ever Saudi F1 driver

“I think I came up with Hammer time,” said Hamilton.

“I think because there was a point where he was like, ‘Now it’s time to push’, and I got frustrated with it because I’m like: ‘Dude I’m already pushing!’.

“But I was like, if you’re trying to signify ‘now’s the time to go all out, use everything you have’, just tell me it’s ‘Hammer time’. That was part of the growth we had.”