Lowe: 2016 F1 defeat taught Hamilton to ‘leave nothing on the table’

Lewis Hamilton’s narrow 2016 Formula 1 title defeat to Nico Rosberg taught him to avoid becoming complacent about his performances, according to Paddy Lowe.
Lowe: 2016 F1 defeat taught Hamilton to ‘leave nothing on the table’

Lowe worked at McLaren when Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007 and was later reunited with the Briton at Mercedes where Lowe served as executive director between 2013 and 2017 before he moved to Williams. 

Speaking to F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Lowe recalled his early impressions of Hamilton’s instant star quality and explained how he has “improved massively” since his rookie campaign to go on to become a seven-time world champion.

“Well firstly he arrived in terrific shape, he hit the ground running with nine podiums in his first nine races,” Lowe said. “I don’t believe we will ever see that again for a rookie.

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"He was already at a very uniquely high level from the day he arrived in Formula 1. He has improved massively in all that time.”

Asked where he feels Hamilton has improved the most, Lowe replied: “I would say in the consistent delivery. There’s nothing left on the table any day.

“Lewis is supremely talented and one of the features of people that are supremely talented is that they generally know they are and that does sometimes leave scope for relaxation at certain points when they think ‘I am the best, I am good enough, I will make it work, I will carry it through’.”

Having beaten Rosberg to claim his second and third world championship titles in 2014 and 2015, Hamilton suffered his only defeat of the V6 hybrid era to the German the following year in a campaign that was hampered by several major reliability failures as he was pipped to the 2016 crown by just five points.

And it is from the disappointment of that near-miss that Lowe reckons Hamilton learned his most valuable lesson.

“Of course, it’s not always down to you, luck will play its part,” he explained. "Disturbance will get in the way of your talent.

“2016 was a great example of that where Lewis had an extremely bad share of the bad luck around reliability which itself was very rare but it all came onto his plate.

“That asked a lot of him which unfortunately he didn’t have enough in the end to close the championship. I think that’s an example where he learned you can’t leave any race on the table. You got to take them all whatever way it is looking.”

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