Hamilton has labored with Bonnington, generally known as Bono, since becoming a member of Mercedes in 2013, with one of many hallmarks of their time collectively being Bonnington’s name of “it’s hammer time” to Hamilton over the radio.
It serves as a reference to the catchphrase in MC Hammer’s 1990 music “U Can’t Contact This” and to Hamilton’s three-letter designation, ‘HAM’, inside F1.
Bonnington just lately gave Hamilton the decision in america Grand Prix when he was pushing to struggle Max Verstappen for victory, with Hamilton noting in Mexico that it “felt prefer it had been at the very least a 12 months” for the reason that final time he heard it.
Requested by Autosport in regards to the origins of “it’s hammer time”, Hamilton defined how he got here up with it as one thing to spur him on on the finish of a stint as an alternative of being instructed to push.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photograph by: Erik Junius
“I feel I got here up with hammer time,” mentioned Hamilton. “There was some extent the place he was like, ‘now could be the time to push,’ and I received pissed off with him as a result of I used to be like, ‘dude, I’m already pushing!’
“However I used to be like, in the event you’re making an attempt to indicate now’s the time to go all out, use all the pieces you may have, I mentioned simply inform me it’s hammer time. That was a part of our development.
“I’m extremely grateful for Bono, I’ve had an incredible journey with him. I feel we’ve received one of many longest, if not the longest driver-engineer partnership that there’s been. He’s been massively integral to my success.”
Hamilton and Bonnington have fashioned statistically probably the most profitable driver-engineer partnership in F1 historical past, yielding six of Hamilton’s seven world titles in addition to 82 of his 103 grand prix victories.
Hamilton mentioned that he and Bonnington had “supported one another on and off the monitor in good and dangerous instances” and was “like a brother to me”.
“He’s in all probability one of many few individuals that may actually stand me, I might say, like on the great and dangerous days,” mentioned Hamilton.
“How calm he’s capable of be all through the race, and the way he’s been capable of information and assist navigate me by way of a race, I don’t assume there’s many individuals who may do this.”