The seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton has the longest-running affiliation with Mercedes in Formula 1. He shares a deep connection with the team principal, Toto Wolff as well as the team and is the primary motive behind signing a contract extension this year.
Despite the issues with the W14, the British driver chose to remain under the Silver Arrows banner. However, his connection is not limited to Wolff; it is also his race engineer Peter Bonnington.
One of the most successful driver-engineer partnerships marked its tenth season and continues to thrive. The speaker on the Mercedes pit wall, Bonnington, is one of the key figures. In 2012, Bonnington or “Bono” had the privilege of engineering Michael Schumacher, the only other seven-time champion in Formula 1 history, before he teamed up with Lewis Hamilton.
“I think we’ve got one of the longest, if not the longest standing driver-engineer partnerships that there’s been, and he’s been hugely integral to my success. He’s like a brother to me, a brother from another mother.” – Lewis Hamilton on Pete ‘Bono’ Bonnington #F1 pic.twitter.com/x0Uha1F81r
— Simon Dau (@there_is_no_if) January 14, 2023
Following Schumacher’s retirement and Hamilton’s transfer from McLaren to Mercedes, Bono continued in his position, helping the new driver settle in. With the onset of the V6 turbo era, the Briton and Bonnington took benefit of this opportunity to challenge the Brackley-based team for a title. Using a superior vehicle and power unit, the team won more than half of the races that season. The duo did not stop there and went on to win many more races together.
Lewis Hamilton secures ‘Bono’ Bonnington in the new Mercedes agreement
But in the month of August this year, Lewis Hamilton signed a contract extension with Mercedes for an additional two years. Along with him, teammate George Russell also received a renewed contract.
With this commitment, he will remain on the Formula 1 grid until the end of the 2025 season. Speaking about all the anticipation that surrounded the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where his rival broke Sebastian Vettel’s longstanding record, Hamilton said that he and his dependable race engineer, “Bono,” will continue their partnership throughout this extended period.
“Yes, Bono is stuck! I’m very fortunate. Again, that’s history, as well. I don’t think there’s ever been an engineer and driver pairing for this long. We’re setting records.” Hamilton said pic.twitter.com/O1Z0vESv6H
— out of context Peter Bonnington (@bonotires) August 31, 2023
Speaking about this prolonged collaboration, the driver said, “Yes, Bono is stuck! I’m very fortunate. Again, that’s history, as well. I don’t think there’s ever been an engineer and driver pairing for this long. We’re setting records.”
While talking about his partnership with the team and whether or not he was surprised about his time in the sport, Hamilton said, “Yes definitely. I didn’t think I’d be the age that I am, and feel the way I do, physically and mentally. And still love what I do. That’s something I’m incredibly grateful for. I still love working alongside Bono and the guys in the team, chasing that common goal and dream.”
The relationship that Lewis Hamilton and Peter Bonnington has spanned over a remarkable 11 seasons, ever since the driver joined Mercedes. Following the present contract, 38-year-old Hamilton will continue to be a regular in F1 well after turning forty.