Lewis Hamilton’s unusual starting style in Formula One

Lewis Hamilton Formula One

Compared to other racers, the seven-time World Champion has a rather unique way of starting his Mercedes W13.

Lewis Hamilton Formula One

The strange way that Lewis Hamilton launches his Mercedes W13 is less well known than the fact that he has begun 304 Formula 1 Grands Prix overall.

The seven-time World Champion grips the upper half of the left side of the steering wheel before letting go as he reaches the first corner, which is a highly unique way to hold the wheel.

The shifter paddles on the rear of the vehicle, which allow the racer to change gears up or down, a Mercedes team spokesperson explains in a video posted to social media.

As a result of the sequential design of F1 gears, up or downshifting happens continuously. Drivers risk losing time and positions if they accidently press one, which might cause the engine to rev to its maximum.

In order to prevent this from happening, Hamilton blocks the downshift paddle using the grip method, allowing him to only upshift.

His ‘Brake Magic’ toggle lost him the Baku 2021 championship

The strategy has proven effective for him, but it disastrously failed at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2021 when he accidently touched the “Brake Magic” button that changes the brake bias settings.

This setting increases the front brake bias to 86.5% and is intended to be used on formation laps or during Safety Car periods to warm up the front brakes and tyres. Normally, they would operate at 52-53% for the front and rear.

He accidentally turned the button back on, which led to a front brake lockup entering Turn 1 and ultimately cost him an opportunity of triumph.

He gave the Mercedes engineers instructions to address this problem by fitting a shroud around the button to prevent accidental toggles.

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F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silver Arrows

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