Brawn: Hamilton to bounce back

2012-03-15 14:36

MELBOURNE, Australia - Mercedes F1 boss Ross Brawn has tipped Lewis Hamilton to shine in 2012 thanks to his learning good habits from McLaren team mate Jenson Button.

Brawn, who admitted that race wins would be beyond his Mercedes' outfit this season, was Button's team chief when he won the World title for the Brawn team in 2009.

He said Button's professionalism would have rubbed off on Hamilton and to give 2008 champion Hamilton a chance to bounce back in Sunday's season-opening Australian GP.


Brawn said: "Lewis has raw speed but, by his own admission, he didn't have his best year in 2011. I think he's intelligent enough to realise that didn't work out and to work to improve his own performance, because he has huge speed and huge talent.

"I think, with Jenson, Lewis has seen someone who is maybe not ultimately as quick as him but someone able to apply himself more effectively. And that is a very strong combination - Jenson is a very intelligent guy. Don't get me wrong, very, very quick, but really focused on his racing and that is good for Lewis," he said.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has already named Button as Sebastian Vettel's main rival his season. Hamilton, who appeared distracted by personal problems, finished below his team mate last season.

Brawn said: "Jenson sets his car up well, is totally focused during practice and has the right priorities and that's a big help. I think Lewis can learn a lot from how Jenson works.

"Certainly, Lewis has to do his own thing and it'll be fascinating to see how he does this year, I think he'll do a great job," he said.


Asked about the prospects for drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, Brawn was less enthusiastic: "I believe we have moved quite a long way in 12 months and we are much stronger than we were 12 months ago. I wasn't comfortable at all with where we were.

"We hadn't achieved the things we wanted to achieve over the winter, we had a car that had some problems, but we are in a much better position this year. We won't know until the first four races really where everybody sits. Melbourne can be a bit unusual, especially now it is an evening race and tyre pressures and temperatures can be a little bit of an issue," he said.

However, he said that Mercedes understood that it takes time for investment to pay off in F1.

Brawn said: "They understand what's needed, you can't flick a switch overnight. You have to build things in the same way that you do in the automotive industry.

"You can't create a car as important as a Mercedes overnight. You have to build it bit by bit."