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Brawn had doubts over Hamilton's lifestyle

NEWS STORY
12/03/2019

News that Lewis Hamilton had been lured to Mercedes emerged in late 2012, the German team subsequently confirming the Briton's shock move.

At a time many, including Pitpass, questioned the driver's sense in making the move from a leading team to an outfit that had scored one win in three seasons and whose best championship finish was fourth (twice), it was widely agreed that a main factor in his decision was the presence of Ross Brawn, the genius behind title wins for Benetton, Ferrari and his own outfit.

However, in late 2013, towards the end of Hamilton's debut season with Mercedes, it was revealed that Brawn was leaving the Brackley-based outfit, the Briton said to be unhappy with his role and essentially claiming there were too many chiefs within the team.

While most thought this signalled a downturn for the team, which had scored three further victories that season, the introduction of the hybrid formula a year later saw Mercedes never look back.

Speaking to i News, Brawn admits that when recruiting Hamilton to Mercedes, he had his doubts about the Briton's lifestyle.

"I must admit, when I first got involved with Lewis, his lifestyle was bit of a concern, just because it was out of the norm," says Brawn.

"A modern Formula 1 driver keeps a very low profile outside the sport," he continues. "They put tremendous work into their job, and tremendous effort, but they tend to be lower profile away from the sport.

"Of course, seeing Lewis, his social life, his interests, his passions outside the sport, meant he had a pretty high profile; he was zooming around all over the place to attend events and activities which were fun for him.

"I must admit, I was intrigued... but the results on-track speak for themselves. For him, that balance of Formula 1 and other activities suit him; suit his personality; suit his character. And I have to say, for Formula 1, from a commercial and brand perspective, it's fantastic. Lewis does draw in people's interest, and a lot of them are people outwith those who would normally watch our sport. So he's a great ambassador for Formula 1 in many ways."

Of course, Brawn had previously worked alongside Michael Schumacher as the German win his seven titles with Benetton and Ferrari.

"Michael was far quieter outside the car, he shunned the limelight," admits Brawn. "But he had a family, son, daughter, wife, so there was a lot of things he did as a family man.

Lewis doesn't have that… yet!

"So yes, Michael kept a lower profile. But on the professional side, I see the level of commitment, the sheer talent that both of them display, and displayed in the car and on track. Applying that talent is crucial, but if you haven't got that raw talent, then you're not going to reach the levels that both those drivers have reached in the last few decades."

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1. Posted by Anthony, 13/03/2019 13:25

"Surely to goodness Ross has more important things to be doing and commenting on!"

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