THE Formula 1 expert who helped turn Lewis Hamilton into a superstar has said he will draw on his time in the pit lane to help Sir Ben Ainslie win the America’s Cup.

Tactician Richard Hopkirk who worked for McLaren when Hamilton first started out in 2007, was snapped up by Ainslie in June to make sure his Land Rover BAR team runs as smoothly as possible.

And Hopkirk, who works alongside former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh at BAR, says his time in Formula 1 could be the key to success in the America’s Cup.

Hopkirk said: “I worked with Lewis for three years. It was an amazing experience.

“In that sort of role you are at the coal face of what a big team is doing.

“You’ve got this entire machine of 500 people blowing their way through a couple of hundred million pounds a year trying to put these cars on the start line.

“Actually being on the pit wall talking to the driver minute by minute through the race you can see first-hand where all that effort it’s going.

“That experience certainly helps me here at Land Rover BAR.

“I can appreciate both what our sailing team manager is trying to do, and how our analysis may be able to help. “Then I can try to manage the team to provide the right sort of information in the simplest way possible. Getting a strong, cooperative link between the sailing and design teams will be key to our success in this cup.”

Ainslie will compete for the America’s Cup in summer 2017.

If his team wins they will be the first British crew ever to lift the trophy.