Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says he’s happy with the way Lewis Hamilton is settling into the team, despite the inevitable disruptions caused by the problems the W04 encountered at Jerez this week.
After a shaky start Nico Rosberg ran 148 laps on Thursday, and Hamilton finally got some proper running in on Friday morning. Lewis has made it clear that there’s a lot of work to do.
“He’s very straightforward I have to say,” said Brawn of the team’s new recruit. “In many ways he’s very simple, very straightforward. He’s never short of detail in telling you what he thinks, and what level you need to go to.
“He’s interested in everything about the car, he’s interested in the fact the stickers might not be put properly on the bodywork. He’s got a very good eye for detail, and so I think he’s going to be a very involved member of the team, which is what we wanted.
“He is clearly a very talented driver, but F1 is about so much more. There are a lot of highly talented drivers that don’t have the rest of it, and I think he’s got the rest of it as well.”
Brawn was adamant that he wants Lewis to point out any weaknesses in the package.
“I think we’ve made it very clear to Lewis that he’s part of the solution. You have a choice in a team, are you the problem, or are you the solution. And he’s part of the solution to get us where we want to be. And I think he knows that and he understands that, and I think he’s relishing it.
“It’s correct that he gives us reference points and helps us understand what we have to focus on. I think some of it we knew already, and that’s why we restructured the aero group. I welcome that approach. It needs to be positive, it needs to be constructive. Criticism of the right sort is always helpful to a team to drive it forward.”
Brawn said he was happy with progress so far, given where the team was last year.
“The step that we have to make from the end of last year to the beginning of this year is pretty substantial, and it’s a moving target as well. From what I’ve seen it’s very encouraging. It’s the first car Aldo has designed, and the aero group seems to be working well. So, lots of encouraging signs.
“We know what we’ve got to do, and Lewis has really helped confirm it. That will be something that we will strive to do, but it won’t be overnight.”