By Rory Ross
Originally Printed in The Daily Telegraph.
“Andy Austin, head of the Dobson Lyle consultancy, runs a psychometric test, Personal DNA Profiling, which identifies the emotional, mental and cognitive thought processes common to high-achieving individuals. In 1990, he became involved with McLaren while working at the team’s former sponsors, textiles company Courtaulds.
He spent three fascinating years observing Ayrton Senna. “At the age of 22,” says Austin, “Lewis Hamilton appears to possess very similar personal and mental DNA to Ayrton, shared by very few sportsmen in the world today or indeed in the history of sport. “It is his uniqueness in mental processing, a rational calmness, a singleness of purpose and the ultimate desire to win that elevates him above others, and transforms this natural sportsman into what I consider to be potentially the greatest motor racing driver of all time.” Martin Whitmarsh, chief operating officer of McLaren Group, told me earlier this season that Hamilton’s greatest achievement has been to match a natural-born capability with “the technical understanding, physical preparedness, mental toughness and ability to single-mindedly focus and commit. He has developed into a very complete motor racing package. He is quick, committed, brave, a phenomenal overtaker and he just does not give up, even when in 18th place.”