Lewis Hamilton has praised the impact Ross Brawn had on Mercedes, hailing him for building the foundations of the team's current success in Formula One.
Former Mercedes boss Brawn left the Brackley-based outfit at the end of the 2013 season following a three-year spell after its takeover of the Brawn GP outfit he previously spearheaded. Mercedes has already wrapped up its third consecutive constructors' championship and is also guaranteed a third drivers' title this year.
Although Brawn did not oversee the team's dominance of the current V6 turbo era, Hamilton said his role was fundamental in ensuring the competitiveness which steered Hamilton to back-to-back world championships in 2014 and 2015.
"I think what he built over the years is what we are now standing on top of and succeeding upon," Hamilton explained. "He really helped build a platform, build the foundations and I'm appreciative.
"When we've won the championships I've generally tried to share it with him because he worked for years without having championships and then finally we had them."
Hamilton recalled his memories of working under Brawn, including a visit at his mother's house, when the former Ferrari technical director first approached Hamilton about joining Mercedes.
"I loved working with Ross. From the moment Ross came -- I mean I grew up watching Formula One with Ross at Ferrari and then the next thing you know I'm in my mum's kitchen having a cup of tea with him, he's come to visit me to talk about joining the team and how he would love for me to drive for them.
"I felt very honoured that he had wanted me. Working with him was great, he created a really good atmosphere, very approachable for everyone. I think everyone was really relaxed with him."
The three-time world champion admitted he was sad to see Brawn leave Mercedes in 2013 and explained that his fellow countryman allowed him the opportunity to grow as a driver during their short spell together.
"Honestly I was sad to see him leave because when I joined the team part of the decision process was that he was a part of the team, then obviously he left shortly afterwards, which was not that great.
"Generally the bosses don't improve you as a driver but what they do is give you an opportunity for you to grow and that's definitely something that Ross was a part of."