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Hamilton helping to push Mercedes forwards - Brawn

ESPN Staff
February 8, 2013 « 'I'm going to keep asking for downforce' - Hamilton | Lotus 'very happy' with E21 - Raikkonen »
Ross Brawn has been impressed by Lewis Hamilton's first week of testing at Mercedes © Sutton Images
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says Lewis Hamilton has helped to drive his team forwards during testing this week.

Hamilton's first test day with the team was cut short due to a brake problem but he was back in the car on Friday and completed over 100 laps to make up for lost time. Brawn said Hamilton's previous experience at McLaren has been useful and that the team has been absorbing his advice on how to improve the car.

"I think we've made it very clear to Lewis that he's part of the solution," Brawn said. "You have a choice in the team, you are either part of the problem or you're part of the solution. He's part of the solution to get us where we want to be and he knows that and he understands it and I think he's relishing it. It's correct that he gives us reference points and helps us understand what we need to focus on. Some of it we knew already and that's why we restructured the aero group. I welcome that approach. It needs to be constructive and it needs to be positive criticism of the right sort and that's always helpful for the team to drive it forward.

"He's clearly a very talented driver but Formula One is about so much more. There are a lot of talented drivers who don't have the rest of it but I think he's got the rest of it as well."

Brawn said he had been impressed by Hamilton's attention to detail at the first test.

"He's in many ways very simple and very straightforward, but he tells us what he thinks and he's never short of detail and then you learn what level you need to go to," he added. "He's interested about everything about the car, he's interested about the fact the stickers might not be put properly on the bodywork. He's got a very good eye for detail and he's going to be a very involved member of the team, which is what we wanted."

Mercedes first two days of the test were curtailed by reliability issues that required redesigns, but Brawn said the team had made progress since then.

"We had some problems the first two days, which was disappointing, but since then it's being going well. We've been learning a lot about the car and in Lewis's case learning a lot about working with Lewis, so it's been very productive.

"It's still very early in terms of learning what he wants from a car perspective, and of course we are on one circuit for one day so we need a greater spread to get to understand that better. He's clearly a person who enjoys being involved at all levels and it's a great motivation for the team. He's been working hard with the engineers at this test and he's been here on the days when Nico's been driving and on the headset listening to what is going on. He's everything I'd hoped that he would be."