Technology director of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Mike Elliott, who has been in contact with recently knighted driver Sir Lewis Hamilton since his junior days stated that the Briton was like no other even in his career’s start.
Elliott, who is the technology driver at Mercedes since 2017 began his F1 career with Woking-based McLaren as an aerodynamicist back in the year 2000, staying with it till 2008.
Because of this long term experience, he was in contact with Hamilton for a long time, even before the seven-time WDC champion burst onto the Formula 1 paddock with Mclaren in 2007. As Elliott says, Hamilton was part of aero tests on runways in strange parts of the country.
Whilst it was dubbed boring by most, during these tests, Hamilton would constantly keep asking about how he could improve, while most drivers switched their radios off.
What Did Mike Elliott Have To Say About Lewis Hamilton
“It’s interesting, I’ve known Lewis a long time. Back in the good old days we used to do aero testing, we used to turn up at runways in strange parts of the country,” Elliott stated in conversation with The Muscle Help Foundation.
“Places like Elvington, we would be there clearing the snow to send a car up and down the runway to take aero measurements and they used to send the junior drivers to do that.
“So I think Lewis would have been coming there for a good two or three years before he started driving for McLaren, so I’ve known him for a long time, and the interesting thing with Lewis is he was the first driver that came to an aero test and asked ‘what can I learn from that, how can I improve next time I come?’
“And to give you an idea of what these aero tests are like, you get in the car, you drive down the runway at one speed, you turn around and drive back at the same speed so we can average the aero data. It’s probably about the most boring thing for a racing driver to do.
“And actually, by the end of the day they are normally completely switched off and making mistakes. But Lewis didn’t, he was properly on it and wanted to know where he improved next time around.”
“I think seeing him through the junior categories, we at McLaren knew he was on his way, you could see the ability, and you saw what he did the first time he was in the car, you saw how he matched up with [Fernando] Alonso in that very first season.
I thought it was pretty special,” Elliott explained. “And as the years go by, he has aged like the rest of us, and matured.”