Ross Brawn says Lewis Hamilton will have learned from his time alongside Jenson Button and will fight back this year. Brawn believes Hamilton, who endured a season of ups and down in 2011, needs to manage his performance better within the team in order to reach his potential.
"Lewis has raw speed," he said in Melbourne on Thursday. "On his own admission he didn't have the best year last year, but I think he's intelligent enough to realize that didn't work out and to work to improve his own performance, because he has huge speed and huge talent."
The Mercedes team boss, who worked with Button in his championship-winning year, expects Hamilton to learn from Button's professionalism and focus after two years working together.
"I think with Jenson he has seen someone who is maybe not as ultimately quick as Lewis, but is able to apply himself more effectively and so that is a combination you have, and Jenson is a very intelligent guy. Don't get me wrong, very, very quick, but really focused on his racing."
He added: "He sets his car up well, is totally focused during practice and has the right priorities and that's a big help, I think Lewis can lean a lot from how Jenson works."
Brawn is upbeat about Hamilton's prospects in 2012 but expects him to continue to establish his own identity within the McLaren team.
"Lewis has to do his own thing and it'll be fascinating to see how he does this year, I think he'll do a great job."