The mind games would appear to be already underway within the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. Three time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been joined by former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas following world champion Nico Rosberg’s decision to retire from the sport.
Hamilton’s father Anthony had stated that Bottas joining Mercedes was potentially a career ending move for the Finn and now Hamilton has told a sponsor event that he wants the reigning world champions to end data sharing between their drivers.
Hamilton told the UBS that he has instructed his team that he does not want to see his team mate’s data after Bottas has conducted laps.
I don’t feel it’s fair that he brings his A-game and I should be able to study his A-game on a computer.
“For example when we’re driving we’re picking out braking points, bumps, tyre rubber marks on the track, all these different things to help get you through the corner quickest.
“The other driver probably naturally may be able to do more or less than you are.
“But because of this data they can just copy you. ‘Oh he’s braking five metres later there, I’ll go out and I’ll try braking five metres later’.
“So that’s what I really dislike, because it enables them to get closer.
Hamilton and Bottas will be on hand at the Silverstone circuit on Thursday as they reveal the W08, the car that Mercedes hope will help them capture their fourth consecutive championship.
The first of two winter tests at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya gets underway on Monday 27 February.