Mercedes technical director James Allison has heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton's ability to up his game in the crunch part of the season after pulling further clear of Sebastian Vettel in the championship with a dominant win at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Hamilton stunned everyone to take pole position with a ''magical'' lap and later converted it into a fourth career victory at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The Briton's seventh win of the season means he now sits 40 points clear of Vettel in the race for the drivers' championship with just six rounds remaining.
Hamilton's form since failing to finish the Austrian Grand Prix in early July has been impressive, finishing in the top two in each grand prix since then. When asked about Hamilton's ability to lift his level of performance when it matters, Allison told Sky Sports: "He just turns into a complete machine at this time of the year and his focus, and his enjoyment, just everything about him lifts to a level that is brilliant to watch.''
Mercedes' dominant showing at the Marina Bay Street Circuit is a remarkable turnaround considering its struggles around low-speed corners and street circuits in recent seasons. Allison has revealed the team has focused heavily on its deficit in low-speed corners and significant changes were required over a longer period of time to improve in these areas.
"Well I think you can probably see there's been a slow genesis, a slow improvement of our performance in that regard,'' Allison added. "Maybe one of the earliest clues was at the last sector of Budapest we were strong, last year we were dreadful around that last sector.
"We've just been chipping away at it over the last 12 months but with a massive amount of effort because it's quite a big thing you have to change in order to do it. It's just a real delight to come here now. Lewis got the job done but we gave him a car that he could do that with and that's a huge source of pride to all of us.''