For most people, judging the brilliance of Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1 comes down to a couple of hours of driving every other weekend. It's how he performs in those crunch final minutes of qualifying, and then what he can unleash on a Sunday afternoon when the red lights go out, that become a window into his qualities.
But to view what Hamilton does just in those moments would be to hugely underestimate the wider personal contribution to his own success. For while the most public display of his value does indeed come on race weekends, it's actually what goes on behind closed doors at the factory, or in private discussions with engineers, that can be even more critical to victory and championship success.
Hamilton has been central to driving Mercedes' development direction forward in the turbo hybrid era and making sure the car can be moulded to his requirements. It's a part of his role to see that the team is focusing its efforts in the right areas; not to be a passive link in the team chain that takes the glory on a Sunday before disappearing for two weeks. Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher never did it that way.