18 September 2014
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Hamilton ‘excited’ by lack of radio
Lewis Hamilton says he is “excited” by the challenge of not getting radio help from his Mercedes team from this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix onwards
Lewis Hamilton says he is “excited” by the challenge of not getting radio help from his Mercedes team from this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix onwards.
With the FIA rigorously enforcing a regulation to prevent F1 teams telling drivers how they can improve their performance over team radio, Singapore will be the first race when the ban comes in to effect. Hamilton – who along with team-mate Nico Rosberg has often received detailed information about what the other Mercedes is doing – said he is looking forward to the lack of aid from the team once he is in the car.
“I'm excited with the new challenge,” Hamilton said. “I was told on Monday that this is what we're going to have to do and I was like 'Cool, how can we utilise it?'
“All the experience that we had over the years, for example the formation lap there's so much that we have to do just on the formation lap. To get all that right so you get a good start; so you've got the brake balance set right, so you've got the launch map correct, all those different things … to remember all those things without being told is going to be a real challenge.
“And there's all the different things that happen during the race, but I'm really excited to see firstly whether we can tackle it. It's almost like just putting more balls in the air for us to catch and we're already catching quite a lot.”
However, Hamilton doesn't expect the changes to make a big difference, describing most team radio as “an assistance” rather than crucial to the race.
“On one side over my Formula One career it has been a real battle making sure you say the right things on the radio and I haven't always got it right, so on one side I think it's a great thing!
“The way Formula One has gone it has just been an assistance really. At the end of the day we still have to do the job out there it's just that we get help in terms of guiding us there. But I quite like it, it feels like I'm going back to karting days, which I like. The only way the guy behind or in front you can find out what they're doing is by watching them rather than anyone else telling you, so I'm excited about it.
“For [safety] I think it's probably sensible that they are able to inform us, but in terms of sharing the settings that an individual might have on their steering, their braking or on their cornering – that sort of thing – I'm quite happy that disappears.”
Trailing team-mate Rosberg by 22 points, Hamilton said his approach to the final six races doesn't change because a DNF is just as costly as it has been all year.
“Nothing changes, because it's the same through the whole year. It's exactly the same from the [start] to the end of the year. Of course, if you lose out at the first race then you still have a long way to go. Going in to the first race you don't want anything to happen to the car but afterwards you think 'OK, I've still got a way to go'. When you get to the end, you're like 'Jeez, I'm running out of time'. That's the only thing that changes.”
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