Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drive for Perfection Is What Makes Lewis Great

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drive for Perfection Is What Makes Lewis Great

Article excerpt

LEWIS Hamilton has admitted he is a thorn in the backside of his backroom staff as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed the world champion's constant demand for perfection has turned him into the complete package.

Hamilton, 33, is edging ever closer to a fifth world championship and will head into the Russian Grand Prix with a commanding 40-point lead over Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

On track, the British driver has been in the form of his career, with superstar displays in Italy earlier this month and then under the lights of Singapore a fortnight ago.

He has won four of the last five races and led the way in practice at the Sochi Autodrom, too, finishing half a second clear of Vettel, who ended up only fifth.

Off track, Hamilton has flown around the world to launch his own clothing line, while he arrived on the Black Sea coast romantically linked with American rap star Nicki Minaj following time spent together in Dubai.

Could Hamilton's blossoming relationship with Minaj, the controversial artist who boasts an Instagram following of nearly 100million, behind his impressive form? Or does the answer lie elsewhere? "I wouldn't tell you," he said with a mischievous smile. "It is stuff which is not visible.

"What you continue to find in life is we are very much stuck in our ways and when I work with the engineers it is very similar. Breaking patterns, moulds and challenging people is what I live to do.

"I am a pain in the a*** to my engineers because I am always challenging, challenging, challenging them.

"Even if I am wrong I still ask questions and I would like to think it has had a positive impact to help spring an idea or a direction in which we have pushed the car."

Hamilton won the opening two instalments of the Russian race staged here on the site of the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics but he was mysteriously off-colour last year. …

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