Lewis Hamilton explains the origin of the “it’s hammer time” radio call

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton explains the origin of the “it’s hammer time” phrase, which his race engineer Peter Bonnington – Bono, utters when it’s time for Lewis to push hard.

Whenever it’s time for Lewis Hamilton to go all out with his driving, his race engineer Peter Bonnington – Bono utters the phrase “it’s hammer time” over the radio.

Lewis explains how the phrase came about.

“I think I came up with ‘hammer time’,” the Briton told Motorsport.

“There was a point where he was like, ‘now is the time to push,’ and I got frustrated with him because I was like, ‘dude, I’m already pushing!’

“But I was like, if you’re trying to signify now’s the time to go all out, use everything you have, I said just tell me it’s hammer time. That was part of our growth.


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“I’m incredibly grateful for Bono, I’ve had an amazing journey with him. I think we’ve got one of the longest, if not the longest driver-engineer partnership that there’s been. He’s been hugely integral to my success.”

“He’s probably one of the few people that can truly stand me, I would say, like on the good and bad days.

“How calm he’s able to be throughout the race, and how he’s been able to guide and help navigate me through a race, I don’t think there’s many people who could do that,” Hamilton concluded.

To find out more about Bono, and his relationship with Lewis, you can read our in-depth profile on him.

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