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James Allison in awe of 'utterly calm and reasonable' Lewis Hamilton

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Mercedes' technical director James Allison has labelled Lewis Hamilton's talent as "astonishing" after his first season working alongside the world champion.

Allison joined Mercedes as technical chief at the start of the year after leaving Ferrari mid-way through 2016. It was a year which saw Mercedes beat Allison's former team to both championships, while Hamilton claimed a fourth drivers' title and moved into the lead of the all-time pole positions list.

Having seen the way he operates, Allison is not surprised by his fellow Englishman's record-breaking year.

"He's got, as you can imagine, far more in common with the other great champions than things that are different," Allison is quoted as saying by Autosport in its review of the season's best drivers. "His hunger to win, even after being on the right end of nearly all the records in the sport, is just astonishing.

"The most remarkable thing about him [as a driver] is just his raw, raw speed. You don't get all those pole positions without being a pretty special controller of the car. I think I'm very lucky to work with a whole bunch of very good people, but his ability on a Saturday is second to none. And he rarely drops the ball on race day having put it on pole on Saturday."

Earlier in the season, Allison said his first experience working with Hamilton had been different than he imagined, and he has now elaborated on some of the reasons why.

"His disappointment in himself when he makes very rare, normally quite small, errors is also very admirable. I've worked with drivers who tend to lash out when they screw up; Lewis doesn't do that. That's a pleasurable aspect of working with him.

"When we screw up, and we have done on a number of occasions this year -- most notably the headrest incident in Baku -- he's been completely and utterly calm and reasonable about it, even though the points swing created by an event like that is big. Similarly, when we were forced to ask him to take a gearbox penalty in Austria, same deal -- it just didn't faze his approach to the weekend. Those are nice things when a driver's like that."

Allison says it is difficult to find truly negative examples of Hamilton from any recent F1 seasons.

"Earlier in the year I'd spoken about the fact that he was impressive as a man. I imagine there'll be people hearing that who see the Instagram Lewis and the fashion Lewis, who'd be thinking, 'Really?' You've got to look at his career as a whole.

"Every great champion we've seen in recent years, in some way or another they've done something really ugly on the track that we'd all love to excuse somehow or another because we like our heroes, but you just look at it and go, 'No, that's just plain ugly.' He's not [done things like that].

"He just goes out and races with his huge gifts, and when actually he's called to do something that is the right thing to do, he steps up and does it -- even when it is very, very difficult to do it and the whole world is watching. That's the sort of thing I mean when I say he's impressive as a man."