LONDON, June 05, 2013 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton only needs time to find the sweet spot in the set-up for his Mercedes car and rise to the challenge of matching or beating the pace of his team-mate Nico Rosberg, according to team chief Ross Brawn.
Brawn, the man who guided former Mercedes driver and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to seven drivers' titles in a record-breaking career with Benetton and Ferrari, said he believed that Rosberg was gaining from his familiarity with the team.
Asked how Mercedes can help Hamilton settle in with his new team and match his team-mate's speed, he said: "I think it is quite a subtle thing, but it will just be time, quite frankly.
"It is just working out how the driver communicates, how you understand what it is he wants to achieve, how you tune the car to suit his needs.
"Lewis might vary from Nico in terms of what he is looking for -- and Nico has been with the team four or five years and he knows exactly what buttons to press.
"Lewis is developing his understanding of that -- of what person to go to if you want to discuss that, or who you go to if you want to debate certain aspects of the car.
"We have a very good group, very experienced people, working with Lewis. It just takes a bit of time."
German Rosberg, 27, claimed his third successive pole position at the most recent Grand Prix in Monaco, where he went on to secure his second career victory and endorse his early-season excellence as a pace-setter.
Briton Hamilton, 28, the 2008 world champion, was thwarted by circumstances and, after qualifying second, came home fourth.
In the aftermath of that race, Hamilton said he was now under pressure to improve his form.
Brawn said Hamilton's concession that he was "not good enough" in Monaco would help drive both him and the team forward.
"We want the drivers to be as close as they can, we want them to be pushing each other," Brawn explained.
"I don't want to see a driver who says he is happy being second. That is no good.
"We want both our drivers, when they are not ahead, to know they have to improve -- that they have to find ways of getting more out of the package, more out of the car, more out of themselves and more out of the team."
Hamilton may well find himself fighting to stay with Rosberg again in this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
But he will boosted by the special affection he has for the track where he won his first race as a rookie in 2007 and triumphed again in 2010 and 2012.