Mercedes driver Sir Lewis Hamilton often communicates with his race engineer Peter Bonnington during races to inform him of the condition of his tyres.
These messages are often broadcast to the public and one can hear Hamilton saying that his tyres are absolutely worn out and will no longer offer him the best chance at success.
He then often goes on to notch the quickest recorded lap soon after this statement, which makes it tough for the layman to understand exactly how he managed to get such great performance.
While at times the communication is true, Hamilton also does this to bluff other teams. With this radio communication broadcast in front of all teams, he hopes to play mind games with them as well.
The British driver, in an interview with CrowdStrike’s Youtube channel, agreed that he does like the occasional bluff, but needs to be conscious of the fact that he does not fool his own team into making a poor decision.
“Sometimes, the worst thing if you bluff your own teams. So you’ve got to be careful,” he said.
“In the past, there have been times where it’s worked in benefit but it’s a very, very, very fine line.
“The other teams are listening to what you’re saying, so everyone is listening out to who’s pitting when.”
Mercedes also seems to take as much time to make the decision and often leaves the instruction of pitting till the very end. This is done to avoid its rivals getting any sort of strategic advantage.
Hamilton and Mercedes need to be on the same page
However, even Bono needs to make sure it’s done in such a way as to offer the pit crew enough time to prepare itself.
“I don’t know if people that are watching know that we call the latest time on the lap when they can call me in for a pit stop so usually the second to last or last corner,” he explained.
“That gives the team enough time to get the tyres run out before the other team can react.
“That’s super exciting. I really enjoy that.”
Hamilton will race alongside youngster George Russell at Mercedes this year after Valtteri Bottas was shown the door at the end of the 2021 campaign.
All teams are currently in Barcelona enjoying pre-season testing which is their first real chance to try out their 2022 challengers.