Mercedes technical director James Allison says that Lewis Hamilton’s outstanding achievements in F1 are equaled by his “unblemished record” in terms of sportsmanship.
Over the course of his 13-year career in Formula 1, Hamilton’s behaviour on the track has never sparked the slightest controversy or drawn the ire of his rivals, much less the stewards.
As the son of a man who served in the armed services and who placed integrity “very high up on the totem pole of values”, as Allison recalls, the Mercedes engineer holds in high esteem those who uphold that quality, like Hamilton.
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“I do think that that is a characteristic that marks out Lewis,” Allison said in an interview on Mercedes’ YouTube channel.
“He’s one of the oldest drivers on the grid now but still drives like one of the youngest.
“But in a career of multiple championships and countless wins, you’ll struggle to find a moment on the track where you see Lewis do something ugly.
“You’ll see him do many many breathtaking things, you’ll see him do brave things, but you won’t see just crude dodgy car, bumper car stuff or any sort of artifice to the way he drives.
“I hope that he manages to keep this going for the remainder of his driving career because it’s an utterly unblemished record,” Allison added.
“And I think amongst multiple world champions it is also unprecedented to have all that success without anything that has even the hint of a shadow of poor sportsmanship hanging over it. It’s impressive.”
So far, Hamilton has shown no signs of letting up on his passion for racing, with the 34-year-old just one title short of Michael Schumacher’s historic record of seven world championships.
The Mercedes driver’s sustained level of motivation and energy also impresses Allison.
“The level of drive that Lewis has and indeed all these multiple champions have is quite staggering,” said the British engineer.
“You can think you’re a driven person and then you bump into someone who really is and you realize you’re actually someone who is sort of a middle of the road drifter by comparison.
I do think there comes a time when the driver’s race craft is still incredibly strong but that last little extra special something that gives them the qualifying genius starts to slip through their fingers.
“One of the interesting things about Lewis is that that is still very much with him, and I think he is blessed with extraordinary physical talent to go along with this mental dedication that is quite freakish.”
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