The Full Mercedes radio calls of woe from Monaco revealed


FOM has passed its level one marketing course. Not only are they posting free videos to engage and attract fans to the sport, but they have clearly realised the gold that was the full radio conversation between Lewis Hamilton and the team during the safety car period of the 2015 Monaco GP.

Here are the pertinent exchanges between Lewis and the team on that fateful day.

Bonnington: “Virtual Safety Car! Keep positive, stay positive. And you are staying out!….. So we are staying out and you are just staying positive,”

Bonnington: “Safety Car has been deployed.”

Hamilton: “Are you sure it’s the best thing to stay out?”

Bonnington: “Nope, we will be boxing the end of the lap, box the end of the lap. Stay positive, stay positive. We are going to go one and a half turns (on front wing) for the option tyre unless you tell us different.”

Bonnington: “We are now staying out, staying out, staying out.!”

Hamilton: “Guys that’s not good, these tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone’s going to be on options now.”

Bonnington: “OK, copy, copy, box, box!” says Bonnington. “Cancel the brake magic. Caution on pit entry, RS modes. Cancel RS.”

Hamilton exits the pits

Hamilton: “What’s happened guys, what’s happened?”

Bonnington: “OK Lewis so, we… we… got caught behind… we are having a look now, we are reviewing the video.”

Bonnington: “OK we have lost the marshalling system, so we may need to do something to override DRS.”

Hamilton: “I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?”

Bonningon: “Not if they lose all their tyre temp.”

The team intially decided to keep Lewis out. Lewis challenged this decision, the team then decided to pit.

Following further discussion the team reverted to their original decision. Hamilton again challenged this. The team acceded to Lewis point of view

He was fatefully pitted. video here

24 responses to “The Full Mercedes radio calls of woe from Monaco revealed

  1. So when Lewis asked the first time if it was a good idea to stay out, PB said no. So that’s where all this mess started.

    I’m assuming had he said yes, then we all wouldn’t be here talking about this debacle 2 weeks later.

  2. Mercedes needs to put each of their race engineers and strategists into the race simulator for an hour and then start firing questions at them, whilst they attempt to keep the ‘car’ on track. They might, just possibly, have a clue as to how stupid they were at Monaco.

      • I did lay the blame at 50/50 but after these few lines and other bits then its pretty clear who added to the confusion. Lewis has had a habit of shooting down his pit wall and I am sure this was in the minds of the team,80/20 split between driver/team mistake. This mixup is just racing and happens to the best but it does spice up the team photo sessions(absence of the world champion)..I will mod myself here judge so all I will put is ‘bad form’

  3. This is simply, brilliant. Unequivocally sets the scene. And little wonder that their star driver is not wanting to say much.

  4. I think I’m gonna go aply for a job at mercedes. Can’t be that hard. I too can send them out in the rain with no real purpose. I too can miscalculated everything needed for a pitstop. And telling some bullshit story to the press afterwards, I’d be the king of that!

  5. Combined responsibilty, but still more of a pitwall error. Peter wasn’t listening to all Lewis was saying and refuting any wrong assumptions. Hamilton never insisted he just had an opinion which was based on the team pitting Rosberg first earlier in the race and encouraged by Peter agreeing it wasn’t a good idea to stay out. This then encoouraged Lewis to believe even more that others had stopped and there was now no time for him.
    At no time did Hamilton say he must be brought in. He kept on giving an opinion and trusted the wall will give him the right call and information.
    The pitwall were monitoring the airwaves and the track so they knew what everyone in the top 6 could do.

    • Fully agree with you on this. We saw a similar situation in Bahrain with Kimi when he argued about the tire strategy, but his engineer stuck to his guns and gave full details as to why they adopted that strategy.

      • And that’s why the ferrari crew isn’t in this little media storm and mercedes is. Input from the driver is ok. But they don’t know when and how to put their foot down.

    • Peter had around 8-10 people all talking on internal team radio – something fans don’t appreciate. It’s chaotic at times… We just hear driver and engineer. PB is link man between team and driver

      • But the pitfall has the data; the driver doesn’t.

        However you explain/spin it, this was essentially a team error. That they didn’t get their shit together is understandable but not ideal.
        If you have less than half a minute to make a decision, you shouldn’t be involving ten people.

        • That’s exactly what they seem to have at Mercedes at times, a ‘pitfall’ rather than a pitwall… 😉😉😉

      • Coincides with Nikki’s comment that there were too many people talking at once.

  6. Bonningon sounds more like a personal life coach, than a race engineer: “Stay positive, blah blah, stay positive”, while Hamilton almost sobbing is asking: “I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?”

    • @Jacob
      “while Hamilton almost sobbing is asking: “I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?”

      To me he sounded furious, not sobbing… “I’ve lost this race, haven’t I [you lousy beeping blipping expletives left unsaid]?”

    • The stay positive comment was in reference to the delta time for the VSC, nothing to do with his mindset.

  7. Let’s stop opining – please. And let’s attempt to look at the exchange logically.

    Fact: Peter Bonnington told Lewis Hamilton to stay out because of the deployment of the VSC.
    Fact: Bonnington sees the SC was deployed and informs Hamilton.
    Fact: Hamilton questioned if staying out was the right thing to do.
    Fact: Bonnington responded to a question by changing his mind and telling Hamilton to box.
    Fact: Bonnington then, without provocation, changes his mind and tells Hamilton to stay out. To which Hamilton responds, “Guys, that’s not good”
    (… and here is where massive confusion from outsiders seems to begin. Logically, if we are following the flow of the conversation the statement Hamilton made would be in response to the seeming confusion from the crew. Instead, his statement of fact about the state of affairs -confusion – has been recontextualized to somehow be construed as a Hamilton command.)
    Fact: Hamilton states that his tires have lost temperature and his primary competitors will be on options as a result of pitting. (Notice Hamilton makes NO statement about the FUTURE state of his tires, only their PRESENT state.)
    Fact: rather than correct Hamilton, Bonnington reverses himself again and tells Hamilton to box. Why?! (From this exchange it appears Bonnington may have panicked. However, since we, in fact, do not have the entire conversation – notice the in-crew conversation was not transcribed – it is equally likely Bonnington had other voices in his ear, all of which ended in him/the team in making a less-than informed decision.)
    Fact: Hamilton pits thinking his lead is safe as he would ONLY be brought in if the two drivers who were threats to him also boxed.
    Fact: Hamilton returns to the track only to see his lead gone and the race, effectively, lost.

    At what point in this exchange is Lewis Hamilton suddenly at fault??? Because he talked at all? It certainly isn’t because he commanded to be pitted.

    I wonder why Rosberg’s crew was explains a strategy that would help him get heat into his tires (as Nico explained in the post-race presser… which implies Rosberg had much the same complaint as Hamilton!).

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