F1 | Williams' Robson: Hamilton "is a phenomenal talent" and Russell "has the potential to get there"
Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson recalls the early days with Hamilton, "that somenthing" special that made him so successful and shares his thoughts on Mercedes young talent George Russell
Lewis Hamilton's journey in F1 so far has been utterly incredible.
He was the only one, after Micheal Schumacher, to be crowned World Champion for seven times and the first driver ever reaching 100 pole positions, last weekend in Spain.
"It's a phenomenal achievement, isn't it, what he's done," commented Dave Robson.
"He's an annoying customer to have on the other side of the garage for sure. But he is a phenomenal talent."
And he certainly knows what he is talking about, as Robson worked as performance and race engineer for Lewis' McLaren teammates, Heikki Kovalainen and Jenson Button.
"I've worked with him for quite a few years, but it's something he's always had. I think there is just that something about him, that special quality that you can't really define. That was obvious right from when he was just a kid."
Robson also worked with Hamilton in his younger years and he recalls the Brit was already quite special as a child.
“I took him testing at Elvington, going up and down the runway, and he was bored stiff after 10 minutes."
"Whereas most kids, when you took them to Elvington, they were just chuffed to bits to be in an F1 car, even when they were just going up and down the runway."
“He was different right from the beginning, and he just has that talent and that tremendous attitude, so you have to take your hat off to him."
Now at Williams Robson is working with another young talent, George Russell.
"I think there are definitely some similarities there."
"And I think, again, they were obvious from the first time I met George," he explained.
"We ran him in the simulator in Grove, everyone up and running around the airfield in a road car. Again, there was something there."
He did see some differences between the two, as for instance he believes that had they "took him to Elvington in the F1 car, he'd probably happily gone up and down all day."
But he is not doubting the Williams driver's brilliant potential.
"The talent is there. I think he is very close to Lewis and has the potential to get there for sure."