Three of the key men behind Mercedes' dominant success in Formula 1 have shed light on what Lewis Hamilton's strengths are as a racing driver.
Speaking on F1’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast, long-serving Mercedes staff Ron Meadows, Andrew Shovlin and James Vowles reflected on their time with the team and working alongside Hamilton.
Meadows - who is Mercedes' sporting director - believes Hamilton simply has no weaknesses.
When asked what makes Hamilton so formidable, Meadows said: “Natural talent, he’s got an incredible work ethic as well but he is the whole package. You can’t find any weakness in Lewis. Over time he has just got stronger.”
Shovlin is Mercedes' trackside engineering director and he thinks Hamilton’s “relentless urge to keep winning’ is one of his most impressive traits.
“It’s not just one area, it’s the fact that every time he doesn’t win a race, he goes and works out why he didn’t win it and why the next time that happens he will win it instead of whoever else did and it’s this relentless understanding and improving process that he goes through that I think must be quite exhausting because it never really stops,” Shovlin said.
“As Ron said, he just keeps getting better and better. He’s obviously broken all records but to see a driver who has achieved so much still working for every win like it’s their first, which is really what he does, you can see why he is where he is. It’s down to hard work, dedication and just this relentless urge to keep winning."
Chief strategist Vowles praised Hamilton for his ‘never give up attitude’ despite being put in difficult situations, sometimes due to Vowles’ own strategic decisions.
“Where his strengths lie, Shov [Shovlin] summed it up brilliantly, he never gives up ever. You don’t see his head drop during a race, he doesn’t think ‘I am 12th I am going to give up now’ he just wants to know what is ahead of him and how to keep fighting.
“In fact, often we’re the ones that have to tell him ‘you just need to accept where you are now because what in front of you is not achievable anymore’. That strength is what allows you even when you’re on the backfoot, to push forward and fire his way through.
“There’s so many races that all of us have had the privilege to have with him where he’s not the leading car out of the two, he’s the one fighting tooth and nail at the back and you know he’s going to give everything, he’s not going to back off or give up.
“He may be frustrated and upset if you made a mistake or put him into a situation that is difficult, but he delivers on it and that’s what he has always done in all the time we’ve been with him.”