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Ross Brawn has described new recruit Lewis Hamilton as a key ‘part of the solution’ to Mercedes’s performance deficit, explaining that the former World Champion has started the process of driving the team forward at this week's Jerez pre-season test.
Although his opening day programme was scuppered by a brake failure, Hamilton enjoyed a large amount of running at the wheel of the new F1 W04 on Friday, with Brawn adamant that his arrival has had an extremely positive on the outfit.
"I think we’ve made it very clear to Lewis that he’s part of the solution," Brawn told reporters at Jerez. "You have a choice in a team; are you the problem, or are you the solution? He’s part of the solution to get us where we want to be. I think he knows that and understands that, and I think he’s relishing it.
"It’s correct that he gives us reference points and helps us understand what we have to focus on. I think some of it we already knew, and that’s why we restructured the aerodynamic group. I welcome that approach. It needs to be positive and it needs to be constructive. Criticism of the right sort is always helpful to drive a team forward."
Brawn added that there have been ‘lots of encouraging signs’ displayed by Mercedes over the winter break, particularly in terms of efficiency at the team's Brackley factory.
"The step we have to make from the end of last year to the beginning of this year is pretty substantial, and it’s a moving target as well," he said. "From what I’ve seen it’s very encouraging. It’s the first car (Engineering Director) Aldo (Costa) has designed, and the aero group seems to be working well. So, lots of encouraging signs.
"We know what we have got to do, and Lewis has really helped to confirm it. That will be something that we will strive to do, but it won’t be overnight."
Hamilton completed 145 laps in the cockpit of the F1 W04 at Jerez on Friday, just three shy of the impressive total new team-mate Nico Rosberg managed 24 hours ago.
Mercedes Grand Prix
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