(Motorsport-Total.com) – Lewis Hamilton is just plain fast. This is how many think of the six-time Formula 1 world champion. But Mercedes’ chief racing engineer Andrew Shovlin explains: There is a lot more that makes Hamilton such a successful Grand Prix driver, namely one thing above all: a lot of hard work.
© Motorsport Images
“Lewis is a driver who many of his opponents might think is just quick in the car but not very hardworking outside of it. Lewis is one of the hardest drivers,” said Shovlin.
Hamilton has a special curiosity that helps him to keep improving his performance. Shovlin: “The more he knows about tires, the car and the use of other aids, the better he can integrate this into his driving.”
Every small defeat spurs Hamilton anew
In addition, Hamilton takes every defeat, no matter how small, as an opportunity to initiate fundamental research, “as if he had to get that under control by the next race,” says Shovlin. Then Hamilton sat down with his race engineer Peter “Bono” Bonnington and the Mercedes crew to work out a solution.
This is exactly Hamilton’s real strength, says Shovlin: “This is how he continues to develop his skills. And with such a long career you would actually think that a driver would reach his zenith at some point. Lewis, however, always finds new and different things how he can get even more out of the car and the tires. “
But that wasn’t always the case, as Shovlin goes on to explain. When Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, he was still a “very, very different guy”, both inside and outside the vehicle.
How different Hamilton is compared to 2013
“Of course it did [seither] also our team very developed. We got a lot better. But a lot has also changed in how we work with Lewis to get the best out of him. And Lewis has now understood how to get the best out of the team. “
Photo gallery: Interview with Lewis Hamilton: “Always felt like an outsider”
In purely sporting terms, Hamilton had excellent basic speed right from the start of his time at Mercedes. “Now he’s much more tactical, in his view of the entire season, in the way he works,” says Shovlin.
“Lewis isn’t just looking to improve his driving style. It’s more about his overall lifestyle and how he feels as a professional racing driver. And every year he comes back and is an improved version of the guy you last had in Abu Dhabi see driving. “
The seventh Formula 1 title win is therefore only a matter of form for Hamilton, who Shovlin attests to a “really impressive” current form. “Lewis drives incredibly consistently and he collects the points with which he practically controls the championship.” A look at the interim World Cup results confirms this impression.