Ross Brawn has spoken warmly of Lewis Hamilton's early contribution to the new-look Mercedes F1 team, praising the Briton for being a complete package.
Despite a tough start to the opening pre-season test at Jerez, where gremlins prevented either Hamilton or team-mate Nico Rosberg from completing many laps on their first runs in the W04, the Brackley squad managed to rack up better mileage over the final two days, but Brawn was still happy to hear the new signing's feedback.
“He's very straightforward, I have to say,” the team principal told journalists during a break in the action in Spain, “In many ways, he's very simple, very straightforward. He's never short of detail in telling you what he thinks, and what level you need to go to. He's interested in everything about the car - he's interested in the fact the stickers might not be put on the bodywork properly, so he's got a very good eye for detail, and I think he's going to be a very involved member of the team, which is what we wanted.”
After completing 145 laps on the fourth and final day of the test, Hamilton repeated his call for more downforce to be added to the Silver Arrow, and Brawn admits that he wants to hear the 2008 world champion's every thought on the new car as Mercedes attempts to establish itself as a credible threat to the likes of Red Bull and McLaren.
“It's correct that he gives us reference points and helps us understand what we have to focus on,” Brawn explained, “I think some of it we knew already, and that's why we restructured the aero group, but I welcome that approach. It needs to be positive, it needs to be constructive - criticism of the right sort is always helpful to a team to drive it forward.
“Lewis is clearly a very talented driver, but F1 is about so much more. There are a lot of highly talented drivers that don't have the rest of it, and I think he's got the rest of it as well.
“I think we've made it very clear to Lewis that he's part of the solution. You have a choice in a team: are you the problem or are you the solution? And he's part of the solution to get us where we want to be. I think he knows that, he understands that and I think he's relishing it.”