Lewis Hamilton is a natural at the 'games' Formula One drivers must play, according to a former McLaren mechanic.
Marc Priestly worked as a mechanic for McLaren during Hamilton's time there and he believes that the Brit is constantly playing games with the media, using them for a competitive advantage that can sometimes leave him a little isolated.
Hamilton's F1 career is littered with difficult teammate relationships - especially with those who rival him - and Priestly puts this down to the way he handles himself off the track.
“Once he came into the sport, it didn’t take him very long to start playing the game of an F1 driver,” Priestly told The Express.
“That meant, particularly with a team-mate like Fernando, playing the PR and press game and using the media in certain ways.
“When you’re working with Lewis and you see him doing it, using the team to his advantage in the media, you can get the wrong impression.
“You can kind of feel like you’re being a little bit used by him as a pawn in this game that he plays.
"That’s why I think lots of people find him un-genuine at times - and whether you’re a team-mate as a driver or a mechanic, you have that same experience."
The 32-year-old is a three-time world champion and is firmly on course for a fourth, with Priestly believing that Hamilton's games are part of the reason for his incredible success.
“I’m not blaming him for it because in the world he inhabits, you have to play those games and it’s all about competitive advantage," added Priestly.
The drive to succeed and gain the necessary advantages to do so was apparent from the very start, Priestly says, again claiming that it's these things that make Hamilton the driver that he is.
“When Lewis came in he was this bright-eyed young kid who was hugely enthusiastic,” he said.
“He was massively interested in everything that went on within Formula 1.
“He would come to me and just talk to us about what was going on with the race car and what things did, how they worked. Even when he was still a GP2 driver, he would come in and do this.
“I was hugely impressed with that. Not many other drivers had ever had that level of technical interest with the crew.
“When somebody has that willingness to understand everything, it makes you a better driver.”
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