Mercedes technical director James Allison says getting the opportunity to work with Lewis Hamilton was a key factor in opting to switch to the German manufacturer in F1.

Allison joined the reigning F1 world champions in February having left Ferrari in 2016 after the tragic death of his wife and has relished adapting to life at Mercedes this season.

Before joining Mercedes Allison had worked for Benetton, Ferrari and Renault during his successful career in F1 and helped secure eight drivers’ titles and eight constructors’ titles. The British technical chief now looks set to seal both crowns in 2017 with Hamilton leading the drivers’ standings by 59 points as Mercedes holds a dominant 145-point advantage over Ferrari.

During his career Allison has also partnered some of the most successful drivers in the modern era of F1 including Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel but admitted he’d only shared a “hello” with Hamilton throughout his career before switching to Mercedes.

Allison says one of the key reasons he moved to the defending champions was to collaborate with Hamilton and explain how his talents help improve Mercedes.

“It has been a considerable pleasure joining Mercedes this year for many, many reasons but one of those was that it was my first opportunity to start working alongside Lewis,” Allison said. “I think I’d only ever said hello to him once in all the years prior to that.

“The experience of working with him is very different to what I imagined it would be and I’ve found a racing driver or the sort of excellence that all of us can see from his statistics and the way he goes about his job.

“But what has been particularly good is that I’ve found a guy that conducts himself as a man in a way that makes you happy to work alongside him. And that’s been an enjoyable and good thing about joining Mercedes.”

When asked to compare Hamilton alongside Vettel and Alonso, Allison says it is impossible to directly draw conclusions with all three drivers winning titles in different cars and would want to see all three drivers in identical machines to understand who would come out on top.

“It’s a frustrating question because there’s an impossibility of answering it as there’s only one way to know for sure and it’s to line them all up in exactly the same equipment on the same days and have a championship where you find out exactly,” he said.

“All I can tell you is that all three of them have got the victories and the achievements that they have, not by good fortune but by being brilliantly skilful racing drivers.”



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