Andrew Shovlin, the trackside engineering director for Mercedes team, has been in awe of Lewis Hamilton’s unwavering resolve in the face of defeat. As someone who has worked closely with the seven-time champion for the past decade, Shovlin has had a front-row seat to the driver’s impressive accomplishments, including six drivers’ championships and eight consecutive constructors’ championship titles for the team.
The 2022 season was a difficult one for the team, with a number of issues with the W13 cars and no race wins for Hamilton, marking the first time in his career without a victory. Despite this setback, Hamilton was determined to come back stronger and return to “fight mode” after the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In an interview with the BBC, Shovlin spoke about how Hamilton handles defeat and how he uses those moments to improve. He said:
“Lewis doesn’t show happiness after a lost race, but he handles defeat exceptionally well. He carefully analyses what went wrong and what he needs to improve on to win the next race. He doesn’t enjoy losing, but he’s focused on the result at the next race, not whether he’s smiling or giving a nice interview.”
Shovlin went on to highlight Hamilton’s strong work ethic and dedication to improvement, explaining why he’s such a formidable opponent. He said:
“Lewis has a rare talent, but it’s his dedication to continually improving that sets him apart. His bad days are few and far between, and even on those days he’s still as good as the competition. It’s his consistency that has brought him to the level he’s at, and when he’s at his best, it’s just phenomenal.”
The engineering director further noted that Hamilton’s ability to continually improve and evolve makes him a “moving target” for those trying to beat him. He said:
“Lewis’s work ethic and ability to continually develop and improve means that, for drivers trying to beat him, he’s a bit of a moving target. The thing with Lewis now is his bad days are so few and far between, and even on his bad days he’s still as good as the others. That’s what’s brought him to the level he is. It’s the consistency.”
Shovlin’s admiration for Hamilton’s grace in defeat and relentless drive to improve serves as a testament to the driver’s incredible talent and unwavering determination. It’s these qualities that have made Hamilton a seven-time champion and a constant threat to anyone who dares to challenge him on the track.