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Hamilton's Unique Racing Talent

Inside F1: Vowles Compares Hamilton and Schumacher

26/01/2024

James Vowles, Williams F1‘s director, reveals unique insights into Lewis Hamilton‘s talent and mindset, distinguishing him from other champions like Michael Schumacher in the competitive world of Formula 1 racing.

James, who has been the chief engineer and strategist at Mercedes F1, worked with Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. He discusses what he observed in the British driver that he hadn’t even seen in the other seven-time world champion.

“I find it hard to find another sport similar to this one, a team sport, but where you start by beating your teammate. If you don’t beat your teammate, you’re in trouble, but it’s just one battle,” Vowles explained on the High Performance Podcast.

“The key to success is everyone’s contribution to that success. Lewis was – and still is today – the most naturally talented driver I have worked with, including Michael. His mentality when he joined the team was brilliant. He wanted to win every race at any cost.”

“But if you talk to him today, he admits that it’s the second and third places that win championships. Working with the team on the days when you can’t win the race will bring you a much better reward than pushing everyone to the limit to win a single race.”

Hamilton vs Rosberg: Vowles’ Insights on F1 Dynamics

Vowles also recalls the fierce battle between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, culminating in their collision at the 2016 Spanish GP: “Everyone will remember 2016 in Barcelona. I still remember those two frustrated athletes today.”

Since 2014, Mercedes has dominated, and the team quickly established rules to avoid clashes between drivers: “The two 2014 drivers, Nico and Lewis, knew that one of them was going to win that year. They knew it even before we did the first laps at the first race.”

“I wrote a very clear document on how we are going to work together and fight against each other. At that time, this document was called ‘Rules of Engagement’, but it was later replaced by something less military. The entire first page was about being a sportsman.”

“To explain, you can win a world championship, but if you’ve done something unsportsmanlike, you will regret it for the rest of your life. It will be tainted, and it won’t be pure. We want to win by being better than others.”

“Michael was an incredible man, but he was always marked by 1997. Under these rules, the fastest driver over 20 races will win and we will give you both the same chances. And they adhered to it.”

Hamilton’s Unique Racing Talent : Discovering Insights From James. Hamilton’s Unique Racing Talent : Discovering Insights From James

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