‘It’s a very, very fine line’: Hamilton opens up on lying about tyre wear

Sir Lewis Hamilton is often heard complaining about tyre wear on the radio, but the situation is not always as it seems.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has joked about radio messages often broadcast regarding his tyre wear, and said that he has to ensure he does not bluff his own team when exaggerating how worn they are.

Infamous have become radio messages from the Briton to his Mercedes race engineer, Peter Bonnington, saying that his tyres are dead or the rears are finished.

Sometimes this is true, but on other occasions he will then go to set the fastest lap of the race a few laps later, contradicting statements that the tyres had no residual performance in them.

Mainly, this is a move to fool other teams into believing that they can make the undercut work but, when they pit their drivers in anticipation of a Mercedes response, they find that the 37-year-old had no intention of pitting at all, giving the Silver Arrows an optimal strategy.

He was asked about his comments on tyres following the launch of the W13 last week, and emphasised the importance of not deceiving his own team in the process.

“Sometimes, the worst thing if you bluff your own teams. So you’ve got to be careful,” he said while chuckling in an interview posted onto CrowdStrike’s YouTube channel.

“In the past, there have been times where it’s worked in benefit but it’s a very, very, very fine line.

“The other teams are listening to what you’re saying, so everyone is listening out to who’s pitting when.”

He then detailed that the team confirm his stop as late as possible to avoid giving any strategical advantage to their rivals, but not so late that the pit crew have insufficient time to run out with the fresh rubber.

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“I don’t know if people that are watching know that we call the latest time on the lap when they can call me in for a pit stop so usually the second to last or last corner,” he explained.

“That gives the team enough time to get the tyres run out before the other team can react.

“That’s super exciting. I really enjoy that.”

Hamilton has been partnered by George Russell at Mercedes for the upcoming 2022 season, and the pair are currently in Barcelona for the first of three days of pre-season testing in Spain.