F1 | Hamilton on why he wants to "do the talking on track", and on his W12 being the hardest car to set up
Hamilton explained why he always tries his best to be "clean" when he drives, and why his Mercedes W12 is is "a monster of a diva".
In the midst of a heated battle for the world championship, between the young and eager to win Max Verstappen, and the veteran Lewis Hamilton, the Englishman commented on their battles on track, in a long interview with selected media.
Hamilton stated that one of the things he always tries to do is to be "clean" when he drives, never unfair, that he always tries to do his talking on the circuit.
"It's just how my dad raised me," – Lewis explained - "He said to always do your talking on the track.
"I was bullied as a kid, both at school but also on track, and we wanted to beat them the right way, not by a car falling off or colliding.
"Then, there is no denying that you're better. If you have collisions, they can say, 'oh, yeah, but this happened, this is one tactic that that driver has.'
"I want to be the purest of drivers, through speed, through sheer hard work and determination, so there's no denying at the end what I've accomplished," he said.
When asked, he also commented on Max Verstappen's driving style, which differs greatly from his own, replying:
“You always have to be ready to avoid a collision at all costs, [even] if it means going wide, because at the end of the day you want to see the end of the race, right?”
"If you're stubborn and you hold your ground, you're going to crash. So that's what I've just tried to do. I've tried to make sure I avoid the collision.
"I think I've been pretty decent at it in most scenarios,” - he admitted- “ Because you can't always get it perfect, but then there's other drivers you drive with who are aggressive and respectful in different ways.
"But he's not the only driver I've raced against that's like this.”
The British champion explained why, according to him, Max Verstappen, as a young driver, like all the drivers of the new generation, has this difference in his approach to driving, compared to the drivers of his generation:
"What I would say is the drivers today, the younger drivers, the tracks the drivers today have grown up on, they all have the big run-off areas," - he said - "Whereas when I started in cars, most of the tracks hadn't got to that point, which was more fun, more risky and you had to drive more, not going over the limit always.
"You had to really build up to it slowly, whereas their generation can go way over the limit and go wide and come back on track. There is less penalty to pay. That's the only real difference,” he stated.
This world championship vaguely resembles that of 2017, fought tightly between Ferrari and Mercedes, even if the battle lasted shortly compared to this year, and Hamilton had baptized the W08 as a "diva" due to the difficulties encountered in bringing the car into the right window.
Mercedes brought back that word this year, already in the winter tests, when the Austrian manager described the W12 as "a little diva".
Lewis Hamilton, in fact, recalled the work done to improve the W12 as well:
“The car has been very, very hard to set up,” – Hamilton admitted – “I can't remember if it was last year or before, Toto would say it was a diva. But this one is a monster of a diva.
“And what we often find, plus we've had less practice time, is that it’s been harder to get the car in the right window, and when you don't get the car in the right window, you just limit your potential.”
“[In Brazil]I got the car exactly where I wanted. And that was like literally hitting the nail on the head. But that's like maybe once or twice we've done that this year.”
“It’s been the hardest car to set up and I’ve done a lot of sim testing. It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” he concluded.