Sir Lewis Hamilton is a “great spy” and he has previously provided Mercedes with information that has led to them making improvements, according to former Silver Arrows engineer Philipp Brandle.
Speaking to Austrian broadcaster Servus TV during the season-opener in Bahrain last month, Brandle said Hamilton inspects other drivers’ cars and equipment very closely following qualifying and grand prix.
“He takes a very close look at everything,” Brandle said.
“For example, there was a time in the cooldown room before the podium ceremony when he noticed a driver in a racing suit that had fewer cables [attached].
“The point was that you could save weight because every detail counts in Formula 1.
“That’s why he gave us the feedback that the other team had a shorter cable harness, a smaller connector.
“Everything that can somehow save just one gram is important and he looks at such details. And then you can implement that,” he added.
Hamilton is chasing down a record-breaking eighth World Championship this year, but with Red Bull seemingly having a more competitive package than Mercedes this campaign, the Brit will need to bring his A-game all season long and help the Silver Arrows develop their car as much as possible.
However, it may well prove difficult for Mercedes to close the gap to Red Bull, as their in-season development resources will be limited due to them – and every other team on the F1 grid – focusing their resources on 2022, when the new technical regulations will be implemented.