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Hamilton's struggles may take time to solve - Brawn

ESPN Staff
May 29, 2013 « Pirelli delays introduction of new rear tyres | Monaco exposed Ferrari's traction deficit - Domenicali »
Lewis Hamilton: "In the last three races I've been pretty poor" © Sutton Images
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Ross Brawn thinks it will take time for Lewis Hamilton to get the best out of his Mercedes this year.

Hamilton got his first season with his new team off to a good start at the first three races but in recent rounds has been outperformed by team-mate Nico Rosberg. After being out-qualified for the third time in a row on Saturday, Hamilton admitted he was struggling to adapt to his new car after six years at McLaren.

"It's been this way since the first race and even in winter testing I was struggling," he said. "The set-up I have on the car in terms of brake cylinders and the steering wheel is very different to what I had before. I was very comfortable after being there [at McLaren] for years and I was used to it being always the same. That's been a slight weakness for me this year in the first few races and particularly in the last three I've been pretty poor. This one was one of the toughest for me so far."

Team principal Brawn believes it will take time for Hamilton to get the best from the car but is pleased to see his driver so keen to improve.

"I think it is quite a subtle thing, the way a driver communicates and how you understand what he wants to achieve with the car and how you tune the car to suit his needs," Brawn said. "We've got a very good group with Lewis and very experienced people, and it is just working out exactly what he needs and is looking for.

"That might vary from what Nico needs and is looking for, although they are pretty close in the cars, but it will just take time. Nico's been with the team for four or five years and he knows exactly what buttons to press within the team and Lewis is developing his understanding of that - who he needs to go to if he wants to debate some aspects of the car.

"That just takes a little bit of time and I think Lewis is up against a very fierce and talented competitor in Nico. We want the drivers to be as close as they can and pushing each other, and I don't want to see a driver here saying he is quite happy being second. I want both drivers, when they are not ahead, saying they've got to improve and find ways of getting more out of the package, out of the car and out of the team."

However, Hamilton believes the problem is not a communication issue with his engineers, but rather something he has to find himself.

"It's nothing to do with the engineers, it's just a general feeling with me," he explained. "It's difficult to really explain it but I've just not been on it all weekend. It's not through not being focused or not being centred, it's just about being comfortable in the car.

"When I was at McLaren I had been there for a very long time and I had 100% confidence in the car, particularly at this track [Monaco] where you need 100% confidence in the car beneath you. It worked will in the past, it's just that I've been struggling gaining that confidence and that means I can't brake late enough."