Sky Sports F1 commentator and former-Formula One driver Martin Brundle believes that Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton will open up now that he has left the McLaren team.
However, Brundle – a former McLaren driver – insists that Hamilton’s approachability will be heavily determined by the quality of his Mercedes W04 machine.
At a recent Sky Sports F1 media event, the 53-year-old commented that the “first signs are Lewis is more open. If the Mercedes is fast, he’ll stay that way; if not, he’ll close up again.”
A commentator in Formula One since his partial season in 1995, Brundle is also well aware of how words can be misinterpreted. “They know their words will be on the internet within a few minutes and in the end they might as well say nothing and not […] upset the team and not read a misquote and so they end up just gliding along on a neutral path.”
Expanding on that point, the winner of the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hour Race explained, “there are two things that will happen – you will always see the minder during interviews and if they step out of line, [drivers] get a good pasting from the boss and from the media minder.”
According to Sky Sports F1 lead presenter Simon Lazenby, the occasionally detached personality displayed by drivers is more indicative of modern professional sport as a whole.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily drivers per se – they are beholden to sponsors and they have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and I don’t think they want to give too much away.” Lazenby added, “there are different personas – those behind closed doors and those that have to be put across to the public.”
Sky Sports F1 pit reporter Natalie Pinkham sympathises with Hamilton – often found at the hands of a fervent British media scrum at each Grand Prix – who on a number of occasions has witnessed his actions and words misinterpreted far beyond their original intentions.
“It is a shame, because I love the way Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve. I’ve always found Lewis great to talk to, because you can see the emotion on his face and no amount of words can disguise how he’s feeling.”
This weekend sees Hamilton take to his Mercedes to the track in anger for the first time, when he lines up for the Australian Grand Prix.
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For the first F1 Show on the road in 2013 Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz are live in the paddock at the Australian Grand Prix. It will feature Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and triple world champion Sebastien Vettel, while Natalie also discovers there’s more to Albert Park than just motor racing. As well as all that, a brand new F1 Show game will be making its début. That’ll be at 9.30am (UK) on Friday.