Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he and Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin are constantly bickering behind the scenes at Brackley as they work together to improve the team’s fortunes on the track.
2023 has been an extremely testing year for the Silver Arrows who are two races away from going winless in an F1 season for the first time in over a decade. This adds to the misery of 2022, when they followed up a Constructors’ Championship win in 2021 by winning just a single Grand Prix.
While Hamilton’s main contribution comes on the tarmac, he has been a constant source of rallying cries to those working at the factory in Brackley as they aim to claw back lap time relative to reigning champions Red Bull. This, naturally, has placed some strain on individual relationships within the team.
Discussing the relationships within the Mercedes team, Hamilton told Esporte na Band: “One of my engineers, Shov, will say ‘You’re not always right, right. You’ve just gotta accept that you’re not always right.’ And that’s one of the things that I struggle with. I argue and argue and argue, but then I’ll say ‘Yep, okay. You were right.’”
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Hamilton was then prompted whether or not Shovlin is the member of the team that he feels confident challenging at times. He replied: “Yeah, that’s Shov. We’ve known each other for 11 years, we’ve had an amazing relationship, but we argue a lot. Me and him are the only ones that argue here [at Mercedes].”
The interviewer then asked whether or not he argues with race engineer Peter Bonnington, prompting Hamilton to respond: “I don’t argue with Bono, no. We have just a mega, mega relationship.
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“And it’s not that he agrees with everything that I do, but we just have a great rapport. Me and Shov, it’s still a great like… fantastic relationship, but I’m always challenging him like ‘Yeah but Shov, what about this? What about that? Are you sure?’ And then he comes back and I’m like ‘I’m sure you’re wrong’.
“So he took off a race, I think he was at home for the last race. And I was like ‘Where’s Shov? I don’t have anyone to argue with! So like we’re usually on the radio in the engineering and everyone is listening, and then me and Shov are going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”
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