The Brit spent six successful seasons at the Woking based squad, a team who began nurturing Hamilton when he was just into his early teens. He made the highly debated move to Mercedes for this season and despite joining the team in January, he admits he is still not 100% up to speed with how the team and car works.
Talking to PA Sport he said “It does take time, It’s my first time moving to a different Formula One team, and there is so much information to take in, to catch up on and to learn, and I’m definitely still learning.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent up to speed with everything because the team does a lot of things differently to what I have experienced before.
“Over the weekend in China I feel I made a good step, but I’m still searching for those things that make you comfortable in a car and with the engineers.
“In practice on Friday, for instance, braking was a big problem for me. I struggled with the braking.
“The feeling I was having was not the same as I’d had in the past, but now I think I’ve nearly got that.”
After all the differences within the team and how it operates, Hamilton has of course had to tackle the differences with the Mercedes W04, particularly the steering wheel controls which are configured and positioned differently from car to car.
“Then there are differences with set-up, seating position, steering control, the diff (differential) controls.
“I was used to things one way, and now I’m trying to learn to do it another way. Then there are the engineers and the way they analyse different things. Some things I feel are necessary, some things might be too much, so for me it’s picking out the bits I need.”
The move is one that has revitalised Hamilton and his personality. Towards the later years of his career at McLaren the 28-year-old became more defensive and lost confidence, coupled with a busy workload that left little time to relax and contemplate. Now Hamilton strides around the paddock with a much more tranquil and calm attitude.
He has so far finished all three rounds of the season, twice finishing on the podium in Malaysia and China respectively.
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team