Formula One

Bono says ‘baby steps’ led to Hamilton giant leap at Silverstone

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Lewis Hamilton’s resurgent win in the British Grand Prix marks a significant turning point for the Mercedes driver and his race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington, and its taken many “baby steps” to get there.

Hamilton’s emotional triumph in his home race, his 104th in F1 and a record-breaking ninth at Silverstone, was anything but a cakewalk.

Early on, the seven-time world champion found himself trailing Lando Norris. But a crucial strategy call and Hamilton’s masterful handling of the changing track conditions saw him overtake the McLaren driver and eventually claim the checkered flag.

-race celebrations were filled with tears, a testament to the immense pressure and hard work that had gone into achieving this win, Hamilton’s first since Saudi Arabia in 2021.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the race, Bonnington, with a touch of humor, downplayed the tears, but acknowledged the emotional weight of the victory.

“I wouldn’t say crying, I had something in my eye,” he joked.

“It’s an emotional one. It’s been a long, long time, and he and I have been working hard trying to get back there. Baby steps, but it’s taken a lot of them so far.”

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Those baby steps, Bonnington explained, were crucial in setting up the win. Hamilton’s precise feedback on car balance during the initial stint allowed the engineers to fine-tune the car for the crucial final push.

Bono underscored the importance of Hamilton’s early communication in the race that would eventually set up the win.

©Mercedes

“I think it’s the fact that the feedback he was giving me of where we were on the initial stint balance, [the car] wasn’t great,” explained the Mercedes engineer, with a hint of admiration.

“We knew where we needed to correct the car, and I think we put the car in a real good position for that final stint to allow him to push.

“You knew the front tyre was going to be weak, so you’ve just got to make sure you’ve got enough front end in there to protect it, and he does a great job.

“You know when it comes down to the wire, he’s the one that’s going to manage the tyres and get you to the end.”

When asked if he ever doubted Hamilton’s ability to hold off Max Verstappen’s late charge in the closing stages of the race, Bono revealed the one crucial radio message that told him that a race win was on the cards.

“I wouldn’t say zero doubt, but I knew that once he had the bit between his teeth – as soon as I get told to shut up – then I know that it’s game’s on.”

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Bono says ‘baby steps’ led to Hamilton giant leap at Silverstone F1i.com.

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