Autosport (UK)

Lewis Hamilton

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Hamilton is a driver who – whatever the car, tyre, conditions, track, grip level – is adaptable. It’s arguably been his greatest strength throughout his entire career.

His style has evolved. Back when he first arrived in Formula 1 in 2007, he was tremendous­ly aggressive at the wheel – in a controlled way. He also had superb confidence on the brakes, and that’s still one of his massive gifts. Hamilton takes a lot of his driving cues from what the car is like under braking. If it’s good and stable, he relies quite heavily on that for the next phase of the corner – more so than some others. From high speed to a big stop, his car is just on the edge of under-rotation. It’s not quite locked up, it’s not quite snatched, but he’s got great feel to hold it perfectly.

Hamilton has also gone through different phases in terms of his driving style. He’s gone from that early aggression and adapted his style to the weaknesses of the Pirellis. And he did it very effectivel­y.

During the midway stage of his Mercedes title run in 2017-18, he also recognised that getting his style right and peaking on a Sunday was what was going to win him world championsh­ips, because driving style considerat­ions can also be applied through a weekend. And, while of course he remained devastatin­gly fast in qualifying, he clearly toned back some of that aggression to make sure that he focused on tyre management in races. Subsequent­ly, for Hamilton this really took a step forward in 2018 and onwards.

He’s a competitor who drives with his heart as well. When it comes to the big occasions, Hamilton’s got this innate ability to take it up a notch and raise his game. Take the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix, for instance, and how he bounced back from so much adversity amid all the pressure of a tight title battle.

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