Former Spanish Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa who raced for McLaren, and was the team's test driver when Lewis Hamilton made his debut for the British team in 2007, says Hamilton's ability to manage his tyres during a race is what enables him to "kill" his teammates.
As a seven-time world champion, Hamilton will go down as one of the sport's greatest ever drivers. While many cite the Englishman's pace over a single lap as one of his main defining characteristics, he does have 98 career pole positions, it is his race pace that makes him truly remarkable accoring to De la Rosa.
"Actually his strength is not over one lap, I think his strength is on the race distance where he kills Valtteri or any of his teammates," De la Rosa told the F1 Nation podcast.
"He was just smashing everyone because he loves to slide the car. And his strength basically is when the tires degrade. When the tires drop down, he carries a lot of speed into the corners, so he's not so dependent on the rear tires to exceed the corners with a lot of traction so his time advantage comes on entry."
De la Rosa also stated how he knew Hamilton was a start during the pre-season tests conducted prior to the start of the 2007 season.
"Since day one, he jumped into the Formula One car McLaren, he was already special," De la Rosa explained.
"You can see straight away it took like a couple of runs at Silverstone to get up to speed and set competitive lap times.
"He has some windows where he's unbeatable when the the compounds are very hard, like in the winter testing, and they don't switch on to temperature."
The best example of Hamilton's brilliance came at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2020, despite facing a track surface that offered very little grip, the Englishman was able to find a rythm and pull away from the field, winning the race by over 30 seconds.