Mike Elliott, the technical director of the Mercedes AMG F1 team has known the seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton for a long time now. Further, Mike said Lewis has been special since the beginning.
Mike entered the Formula One circuit back in 2000 as a thermo-dynamicist for McLaren. He was with the team since 2008. He then joined Mercedes as a technology director in 2017.
Hamilton was part of Elliott’s aero tests on runways at McLaren before the Brit made it big. Hamilton made his Formula One debut with McLaren in 2007. He subsequently spent a lot of time with Hamilton early in his career.
“It’s interesting, I’ve known Lewis a long time.”
Elliott conveyed about his closeness with Hamilton in conversation with The Muscle Help Foundation, “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. 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.”
The Mercedes AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ was a Mercedes-Benz Formula One racing car designed and developed under the direction of Aldo Costa, Paddy Lowe, Geoff Willis, Mark Ellis, John Owen and Mike Elliott to compete during the 2017 Formula One World Championship.#F1 pic.twitter.com/78v1zFik4M
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“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?’ Mike asserted.
Mike also stated, “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.”
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Hamilton – A different talent
By the time Hamilton joined the McLaren Formula, One team, he knew already he was a different type of talent. Mike further conveyed “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. And as the years go by, he has aged like the rest of us, and matured.” Elliott explained.
Hamilton recently signed a one-year $40 Million contract renewal with the Mercedes AMG F1 team. The Brit will be looking for his record-breaking eighth championship trophy to surpass Michael Schumacher. The season will be underway on March 28 with Bahrain GP.