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Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes director says Hamilton was a mercenary upon arrival

Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles has claimed seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton came into Mercedes as a man focused solely on winning for himself.

Lewis Hamilton's evolution as both a driver and an individual has been evident for everyone to see over these past few years. While the Englishman joined Mercedes as a "mercenary" according to their current motorsport strategy director James Vowles, he is now more of a team player.

While Hamilton has always been a naturally gifted driver, his overall improvement especially over the past few seasons has been stark. The most statistically successful driver in the history of the sport has now understood that winning a Grand Prix is a collaborative effort involving an entire team.

"When he joined us (Mercedes) he was a mercenary," Vowles said on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

"He was here for himself to win races, that desire to win hasn't disappeared, but what he's realized is you do it with a team, and as a part of a team, and you become the greatest sportsman that exists as a result of it.

"One individual can't do it by himself, he's a very different character to the character that joined us."

Ron Meadows, the current sporting director of the team echoed the sentiments of his colleague while simultaneously elaborating on the areas where the Englishman has improved.

"I think early on this relentless desire to win, every race would manifest itself in his driving. I think now he's just becoming a much more calculating driver," Meadows added.

"From, the first lap of the first race, he's thinking about championships, he's thinking about looking after the car and the tires a lot more.

"Certainly his approach to the weekend and his thinking in the car, and everything is just becoming really calculated and clean and clinical.

"His target is perfection. And that's a difficult target to pick. But that's what he's trying to achieve."

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