Sir Lewis Hamilton is probably the most popular Formula 1 contender and rightly so! A major reason for his brilliance is the ability to pick up even the smallest detail which can end up making a difference.
According to Philipp Brandle, former Mercedes engineer, there have been several instances where Hamilton’s sharp eye for detail has resulted in improvement in the overall performance of the team.
Brandle is well know to have worked on Hamilton’s car until the end of 2019. He has called Hamilton “a great spy” especially when it comes to spotting things that would give him and his team an edge over the others.
The Austrian, speaking to Servus TV during their Bahrain Grand Prix coverage said, “He takes a very close look at everything.
“For example, there was a time in the cooldown room before the podium ceremony when he noticed a driver in a racing suit that had fewer cables [attached]. The point was that you could save weight because every detail counts in Formula 1.
“That’s why he gave us the feedback that the other team had a shorter cable harness, a smaller connector.
“Everything that can somehow save just one gram is important and he looks at such details. And then you can implement that.”
Occasions like these are important after races as they provide teams opportunities to see their competitors’ cars up close. It is not like one can just walk into the garage of their rival and start analyzing their car.
At times, even the starting gird is a good place to collect visual information. But teams will often shield the cars with large groups of people in order to prevent snooping.
As a result, you will often see drivers taking a close look at other cars in parc ferme if they can.
According to Nico Hulkenberg, who is serving as a reserve driver this season for Mercedes and Aston Martin, feels this is a necessary skill.
“You collect information. You look at how things are done on that car and then you pass it on to your people.
“And of course you hope they can do something with it and make your car faster.”
Who do you think can be a direct competitor to Hamilton? Let us know in the comments below!