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GP Week : Issue 185
about it coming from karting,” Hynes explained. “The equipment is obviously a big part of results in karting. I went to the World Championship in Macau last year, which is probably driven by the fact that it was in Macau as much as anything. Went along there, had a look at the talent, and once a year or so I’ll go to a Super I, pop in and have a look. We’re away so much [with F1] that it’s difficult. “Even Formula Renault – that’s the first indicator of whether a driver is going to make it or not, and I think you can tell very quickly. Meeting them, first of all – discovering their personality. We’ve got a pretty clear blueprint of what we’re looking for. I think of it like a box. Within the box you’ve got all of the professional racing driver attributes, and you need to tick all of those boxes. “It’s pretty easy to get anybody up to the pace required over the course of time, but then outside the box are the things that make the Formula One driver a World Champion,” he continued. We’ve had some good drivers come through Manor over the years, and they’ve all got something outside of this box that you either encourage or back off. Lewis [Hamilton] is one of the most driven people you’ll ever meet, and his natural talent is obvious. The drive in that bloke is a different level. “If you look at the guys who have won world championships, they’re all quite different. But the key attributes are the same: the overriding feature is the drive in them. All the drivers on the F1 grid have got natural ability; they’re all good racers. They’re engineers to a degree, they do the media side to a degree.” But talent and drive are one thing – to a certain extent, they are in-built characteristics that have been waiting to be exposed since long before a future champion takes to the wheel for the first time. Turning a talented driver into a champion takes work, and it takes time. “When you arrive in Formula One you’ve got to be prepared for it,” Hynes said. “You don’t really want to have your team teach you how to conduct an interview, for example – you’ve got other things to worry about. You arrive in Formula One, you’ve gone from a GP2 team that’s got 10 people in it, and you’ve worked closely with three or four of them, and then you arrive here and you’ve suddenly got 60 plus people and you have to work with all of them. “This is why I think the reserve driver role is actually quite valuable – you learn to understand how things work,” he continued. “You get a call over the radio telling you to do a certain time and you can’t push maybe as much as you’d think, and if you’ve just arrived in F1 you’d think ‘why are they asking me to do this?’. But if you’re the reser ve driver, and you’ve been around for a year, you’ve seen all of the information they’re trawling through, and you know you’re not just dealing with an engineer anymore – the engineer is feeding off so much information.” So what exactly does a driver coach do? “As far as the coaching goes, you just try and speed up the learning process, essentially,” Hynes explained. “As a driver I spent a lot of time and money to get to a level that was competitive. There are certainly things along the way that you pick up that you can give to young talent on day one, giving them ideas and tips to formulate their strategy for going racing. If it speeds it up – which I think has been proven over the years – then it’s got a value to it. “There is a degree of drivers needing to make the mistakes themselves to learn from them – you don’t just arrive on day one and find someone half a second. You have to gain their trust; you have to believe in them. It’s quite a long process. You can certainly help if you do an odd day here and a day there, but if you really want to mould someone you have to be with them day in and day out, and they have to trust you. If they’re out here trying their best, when they’re so focused on what they’re doing, it’s good to have someone who knows you quite well to spot areas you might be able to improve on.” But Hynes’ role is much further reaching than just the Marussia F1 team. The Briton also works closely with up and coming young talent in the junior formulae, particularly with the Marussia Manor Racing GP3 team. “It’s a pretty relentless circus, this Formula One thing, and we’ve also got the GP3 team which I spend a lot of time with and have a great passion for,” Hynes said. “That’s everybody’s hobby, I think – the GP3. It reminds us of what we’re all about. F1 is pretty much full-time, and GP3 is part of it. It’s the same ownership as the F1 team, and it’s obviously a pretty serious formula now, with the upgrade it’s had. “We’re four seconds quicker than last year at Barcelona and Silverstone, proper engine in it now,” he continued. “It’s a proper formula, which is demonstrated by the drivers they’ve got in it. There’s some real top talent in GP3 this year, and having Red Bull put their drivers into it is a big boost for the series. It’s looking like the place to be, and we hope we’ve got a good chance of winning it this year with Tio Ellinas. Nick Cassidy and Dino Zamparelli are good lads, and we hope to have a strong year.” And finally, who on Hynes’ roster should F1 fans be keeping a keen eye on for the future? “Ollie Jar vis is a guy that’s a good example of what you can do coaching- wise. That kid’s got a lot of natural talent, but when we had him in the Formula Renault team he didn’t have much else – not much confidence. But the natural ability’s there, he’s a bright kid, he’s got the right kind of personality for it, and you work on the boring stuff to tick the boxes while encouraging the natural talent. He’s a guy that could do the job in F1 up there with the best of them, in my opinion.” 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: >>> F1 FEATUrE