Lewis Hamilton says he’s looking forward to the radio restrictions that will be imposed from this weekend, but he stopped short of saying that he sees the change as a personal advantage for him.
“On one side over my F1 career it’s been a real battle making sure you say the right things on the radio,” said Hamilton. “And I’ve not always got it right, so on one side I think it’s a great thing. But the way F1 has gone, it’s really been an assistance. We still have to do the job out there, we just get help in terms of guidance. But it feels like I’m going back to karting days, which I like.”
In a reference to information being available between the two Mercedes drivers he said: “In terms of sharing the settings an individual has on their steering, or in their braking, or cornering and those kids of things, I’m quite happy that that disappears.”
However he admitted that information can be valuable.
“When you’re out there, if you don’t have any radio communication, you really feel that you’re on your own. You always want to improve, and you’re not sure… You’re trying to do all you can, and sometimes you’re not always improving, and sometimes you go slower. So you kind of go, where is that time? That’s where really the team helps, ‘You’re down in sector one and up in sector three.’
“Then you know, ‘Sector one, there’s four corners there, it’s going to be somewhere there,’ which helps a lot. But of course as F1 goes on, there’s more and more detail you can get into, diff map setting for Turn 8, or brake balance, there’s all these different things that you can start taking advantage of. It’s neat that kind of gets chucked out. It’s going to be hard, because there are going to be a lot of things such as brakes overhanging, using too much fuel those kind of things, that could come into play. Fortunately fuel-wise I’ve never had a problem, so it should be good.”
“I’m really excited to see whether we can tackle it. It’s almost like putting more balls in the air for us to catch, and we’re already catching quite a lot.”
Asked by this writer if he felt he could cope better with less information – and might thus have an advantage over other drivers – he said: “I don’t feel that… I have absolutely no idea whether it’s going to be better for me or worse for me. After the race I will know whether the other car did better than me, and I’ll just try to work on it and do better for next time. The hope is that you handle it the best, and you get the most out of it, and that’s going to be the challenge.”