Ross Brawn: “It was a test of character for Lewis this weekend”

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Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn says the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was “a test of character” for Lewis Hamilton and “he was coming through it very well”.

Lewis Hamilton definitely didn’t have it easy during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend. Not only did he struggle with his car all throughout the free practice sessions, but in the race his car was also obviously slower than the cars of his main rivals.

In the end Lewis almost scored a victory, but he had to settle for P15 after he accidentally pushed the ‘brake magic’ mode button, that caused a big lock-up.

Ross Brawn acknowledges the difficulties Lewis faced and thinks he handled them “very well”.

“It was a test of character for Lewis this weekend,” the Briton wrote in his column.

“Generally he was coming through it very well. To have a car that looked so off pace on Friday and get it into a better space on Saturday was a good step.

“It wasn’t the fastest car, but he knew he could do something with it.He was doing a pretty good job and then I don’t know what happened at the restart.

“He said it was a switch issue. It was obvious the rear brakes were clearly very hot. It didn’t even look close that he was going to make the corner.

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“But after Max’s accident, it keeps the championships wide open. While Mercedes and Lewis will be unhappy, given Max’s misfortune, it kind of balances out.”

Brawn also acknowledged Mercedes’ obvious struggles in street circuits, but he believes the team could be back to their usual winning ways when Formula 1 returns to regular circuits in two-weeks’ time.

“It was unusual for Mercedes to come to a race with a car so out of shape,” Brawn continued.

“It could be that following their difficulties in Monaco, they decided to take a different path, and that’s what put them so out of shape on Friday.

If I had trouble with tyre temperatures like they did in Monaco, I would have been pushing to try a different direction. So their struggles on Friday could have been a result of that.

It is possible that when we get back to races where they have more confidence and it’s a known platform, Mercedes will be back to their best. They have always struggled a bit at street circuits.

“Those have never been their strength,” concluded the Briton.

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