Williams team principal James Vowles has labelled Lewis Hamilton as ‘incredible’ and likened him to an ‘octopus’ with his ability behind the wheel.
Vowles worked alongside Hamilton for six of his world championships at Mercedes in the hybrid era.
As the team’s head of strategy, he won eight consecutive constructors titles with the team, as well as seven drivers titles – with Nico Rosberg claiming one in 2016 – before joining Williams as team principal in 2023.
Speaking on the High Performance podcast, Vowles explained just how good Hamilton is and how he has an edge over his rivals.
Vowles: 'Hamilton like an octopus behind the wheel'
“Lewis just had these oodles of natural talent,” he said.
“With him he's got these tendencies and traits where, if you go out in FP1 he's like an octopus all over the wheel.
“He'll change every setting on the wheel and explore. It's what makes him incredible.”
Vowles shared one story of how Hamilton got the better of team-mate Rosberg at Interlagos to highlight how talented the Brit is in the cockpit.
"There was a time on simulation in Brazil it said 'go into 7th gear up the hill' and within two laps Nico was doing exactly what we asked him to do,” he explained.
“With Lewis, he went back down to sixth and he was finding a tenth there. It took until the end of the session before Nico saw the data.
"He's [Hamilton] this optimiser where he'll use the data as a starting ground, but he's got a feel beyond anything else for it. He's got no issues exploring the boundaries. That originally manifested itself when he would often go off at Turn 1.
“He would find the absolute limit of braking and it would push him wide at Turn 1, then abort the lap.”
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