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Lewis Hamilton has explained the origin of the phrase ‘Hammer Time’ that has often been used to spur on the Mercedes driver at key moments across a grand prix weekend.
The words are spoken by Pete [Bono] Bonnington, Hamilton’s race engineer of many years, and are always delivered in a calm, assured way.
At the recent United States Grand Prix, as Hamilton battled for the win as he tried to keep Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at bay, Bono aired the uplifting remark for the first time in a while.
Revealing how it came about, Hamilton said: “I think I came up with ‘Hammer Time’.
“There was a point where he [Bono] was like ‘Now is the time to push’ and I got frustrated with him because I was like ‘Dude, I am already pushing’.
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“But if you are trying to signify now is the time to go all out, use everything, then I said just tell me it is Hammer Time.”
Hamilton has worked with Bonnington, who was previously Michael Schumacher’s engineer, since he arrived at the team in 2013 to replace his fellow seven-time champion.
The duo have forged a remarkably close bond over the years which has kept Hamilton on the straight and narrow through both the highs and lows.
“I am incredibly grateful for Bono,” said Hamilton. “I think we have one of the longest, if not the longest standing driver-engineer partnerships there has been.
“He has been hugely integral to my success. We have had an amazing journey together, we have supported each other on and off track, through good and bad times.
” I love working with Bono, he is like a brother to me – a brother from another mother – and he is one of the few people that can truly stand me on the good and bad days.
“With how calm he is able to be through the race and how he is able to help me drive and navigate through the race, I don’t think there are many people who can do that.”
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