“I shouldn’t be telling you this” Lewis Hamilton tells us over a coffee in his personal trailer “I mean it’s a closely guarded secret. But I suspect a lot of teams do it. We think Ferrari have been doing it for years.”
”To put it simply. The louder and longer I scream, the faster the car goes. When you see me driving full speed down the home straight you can be sure I’m screaming my lungs out. The pitch matters too. The higher pitch I scream the faster the engine pushes the car. It matters what i scream too. You can’t just scream. If I scream my name it works best of all. “
”I think most drivers are out there screaming their own names. It’s tough to keep up for the entire race but if you see me overtaking Sebastian on the straight you’ll know I’m the guy screaming longer and louder and higher.”
In an era which people claim success is all down to the cars this is truly a revelation. But it’s not the last one.
“Everything makes a difference, everything. Weight is huge. Fire protection for example. Nowadays we know we only really really need to protect the chest heart and lungs area and the crotch. So we only wear protective clothing under the suit for those areas.”
”So you’re wearing a fire proof bikini under your race suit?”
”We actually call it protective bra and panties but potato potato.”
”you just said potato twice the same way.”
”I know. Because nobody pronounces it potato.”
I ask if there are any other revelations.
”When we’re not screaming we’re inhaling as long and hard as we can to help with the screams. A lot of drivers black out owing to the G force coupled with the light headedness. Most crashes and driver deaths you can name are caused by this.”
I ask what his training is like.
”it’s mainly screaming my name for hours. Often in zero g. It’s why I can’t keep a girlfriend. Dogs hate me as well. In a race you start the screaming low at the lights and generally try to match your pitch with the revs. It’s an art. Rosberg couldn’t hack it. It means drinking a lot of honey. And no sex before the race. You need that tension.”
I leave Lewis practicing his vocal warm ups, asking him how he found out about the screaming technique.
”Oh the mechanics here at Mercedes let me in on it my first day. Funnily enough no one else ever talks about it.”
Images: Daily Express, Daily Mail