Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin provides an inside look at Lewis Hamilton and says “if you can get the car where he needs it to be, we know far and well what he’s capable of”.
In a talk with Motorsport, Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin provided an inside look at Lewis Hamilton and how he functions within the team.
“I’ve worked with Lewis now for a long time and he is a driver who has a really impressive feel for what the car is doing,” Shovlin said.
“If you can get the car where he needs it to be, we know far and well what he’s capable of.
“And, yeah, we’ve worked with each other for sufficiently long enough that we can have whatever conversations need to be had.
“We all like to think we develop as we go through our careers, and if you knew what you know today 10 years ago, then I think we’d all have been more successful.
“Lewis, as a driver, puts an awful lot of effort into looking for where that edge is going to come from.
“That constant searching for how he can emerge into a new season as an even better driver than the one that we had before is just born out of his love of winning.
“He doesn’t want to be beaten. He’s very engaged with the engineering process now, he’s talking to all [departments] – on the aerodynamics side, and vehicle dynamics side.
“He’s very familiar with all the people within the team and he knows where to go to ask questions and give feedback. Ultimately, it’s a problem that we’ll all solve together.”
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The Briton adds Lewis has learned over the years how to get the best out of his team, as well as himself.
“I think the mechanism by which he is always looking to improve has always been there, the difference is he has realised how much more he can draw out of the team and the people around him to help that learning and that improvement phase.
“And that’s the thing: he’s become more and more comfortable and settled within the team, and confident and happy to go and speak to different people about different areas.
“He’s just drawing more effectively on the resource. But, ultimately, if he finds an area that he thinks he’s not good enough at, he just solves it by hard work.
“The amount of work a driver has to do these days out of the car, the homework – understanding what the tyres are going to do, what do I need to be doing to manage them well, how am I going to get them at the right window in qualifying – that workload is much higher than it’s ever been.
“And very often you’ll see Lewis as being one of the last drivers to, if not the last driver, to leave the paddock.
“He’s just going round and round, making sure he knows what it is he needs to do,” Shovlin concluded.