Lewis Hamilton 'doesn't know' how long acclimitisation process at Mercedes will take
Hamilton hopes it doesn't take him full season to get up to speed
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 04/06/13 9:45am
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is unsure how long it will take before he is operating at the peak of his powers at Mercedes as he continues the process of acclimatising to his new team and car.
Although Hamilton sits a solid fourth in the World Championship after his first six races for the Brackley team, the 2008 World Champion revealed at the Monaco GP that he had been "struggling" with the W04 since the start of winter testing.
Indeed, while he held the upper hand over new team-mate Nico Rosberg over the season's first three rounds, the German has dramatically turned the tables over the last three events - out-qualifying Hamilton on each occasion and claiming Mercedes' first win of the season last time out in Monaco.
Speaking to Sky Sports News ahead of his attempts to return to form this weekend in Canada - a race he has won three times in five attempts - Hamilton drew a parallel with former team-mate Jenson Button's period of adaption at McLaren in 2010, conceding he had been hoping to short-circuit the process himself.
"I've experienced having Jenson, for example, come to the team when I was at McLaren and for him it took him a whole year to come to terms with things and get used to things," he said.
"I thought to myself hopefully I'll be able to do it a little bit quicker but I really don't know how long it's going to take me.
"I'm working as hard as I can to get on top of things but it's definitely not easy so I'll just have to take my time and let it come to me."
As explained by Sky Sports F1 expert Mark Hughes, Hamilton's problems in the W04 have centered around a lack of confidence to brake as late for corners as he would like.
Speaking at the Monaco GP, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn expressed confidence that it would only be a matter of time before they saw the best of the 21-time grand prix winner.
"We have a very good group working with Lewis and very experienced people and it is just working out exactly what he needs, what he's looking for," the Team Principal explained.
"That might vary from what Nico needs or is looking for. They are pretty close in the cars but it will just be time quite frankly. Nico's been with the team four years and he knows exactly what buttons to press within the team and Lewis is developing his understanding of that.
"Who is the person to go to if you want to discuss that? Or who is the person who go to if you want debate some aspect of the car? So it just takes a little bit of time and Lewis is up against a very fierce and talented competitor in Nico."