Lewis Hamilton emphasizes the importance of team-work and says neither him, nor Michael Schumacher turned their respective teams around.
After equalling Michael Schumacher’s most career wins record at the Eifel Grand Prix, Hamilton explained what role he plays in Mercedes’ success.
“Years ago, I remember when they talked about Michael, turning Ferrari around,” Hamilton said.
“The fact is it’s not one individual. I have not turned Mercedes around. Michael did not turn Ferrari around – as much as I love Michael and he is a legend, it wasn’t just him.
“There’s so many people in the background. What they did is the collaboration. I think the thing with a driver like Michael and I, our job is to kind of be the rudder.
“You’ve got this huge powerful force behind you with such intelligence. But a computer in numbers, it will tell you that the perfect car is so and so, but when you apply the human element, which is myself or is Michael or other drivers, our job is to steer it.
“I think there’s something that the computer can’t simulate. And that’s feel, that’s yaw, that’s the feeling of the car turning and pitching and all these different things.
“Our job is to steer the team in the right direction and point them in the right direction to progress forward. And our job is to continue to elevate and push and hopefully inspire those guys that you work with.
“We all have these tools, it’s how you use them, how you apply them, do you let your ego get in the way?
“There are some people that just won’t listen, because sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees.
“But the great thing with this team is I have not faced that once. If I ever have and there may be one example, we hashed it out.”
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With all the success Hamilton has had, it’s no surprise that many are trying to belittle him by saying his performance is down to ‘having the best car’. The Briton says it is “not always a nice thing to hear, but I’m not mad at it”.
“What I do know is that those that often say those things or make those comments, they just don’t know.
“And I think in general in life, we often can sometimes give the wrong opinion on something when we don’t have the full facts. We don’t have the full knowledge of how it really is.”
And Hamilton’s success was not at all guaranteed when he joined Mercedes in 2013. In 2012 the team finished in P5, when Hamilton arrived they rose to P2, and from 2014 onward they accumulated 6 consecutive constructors’ championships. The six-time drivers’ champion explains his reasoning behind joining a seemingly midfield team.
“I don’t know how I knew it so well but I knew it was the right thing for me. I didn’t know how long it’s going to take us to win. But I loved the idea of working with the guys.
“I wish you could see the changes I did from the first day in the seat fitting, the things that I get involved in the background to change, which has helped, which I’ve done every year with the team to work with a group of people.
“It’s not a bossing thing but collaborating with a large group of people who are incredibly intelligent, way, way more intelligent than I.
“But creating an understanding and collaboration and working towards a common goal, that’s for me the proudest thing that I feel like I experienced through that time,” concluded Hamilton.