Lewis Hamilton is urging his Mercedes Formula 1 team to “hit the ground running” when the delayed 2020 season gets underway, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hamilton says he is in regular contact with his colleagues and is trying to find ways to ensure that the team is up to speed when racing begins.
F1 is aiming to start the 2020 season with two races in Austria in July, by which time eight months will have passed since the end of the 2019 season, with only six days of pre-season testing taking place in February.
“I do hope I’m going to come back better,” he said in a Mercedes video interview.
“We’re probably going to get in the car and have Friday practice and we’re all going to be as rusty as hell! So it will be really interesting to see how we hit the ground running.
“But I’ve been on the phone with my team, speaking to Bono [Peter Bonnington, Hamilton’s race engineer] and speaking to James [Vowles, Mercedes team strategist], and trying to discuss with them a plan.
“We all need to make sure we arrive utilising all the tools we have like race simulations – I probably will get in the simulator, which I don’t always love – to make sure that when we come to that first race, we hit the ground running and we’re ready as if we’ve not missed any of the races.
“It’s ‘how can we arrive in Austria like we’ve already done eight races?’ That’s going to be the real challenge.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it, but that’s a good goal to have.”
Hamilton also stated that he has been enjoying his own company during the break, and how he has been keeping his mind occupied.
“Mentally it’s really about ultimately feeling good about yourself, it’s about finding a way to make sure you love yourself, and be comfortable on your own,” he said.
“I’ve been really spending time [taking] time for me, making sure that I appreciate me, acknowledging things that you do well, acknowledging also when you fail and you don’t do it so great, it’s OK.
“And not being so hard on yourself, all these different things.
“I have days when I wake up and feel groggy, I don’t feel motivated to work out, I feel, ‘Jeez, where are we going, should I continue racing?’
“I think all these different things. The next hour it passes, and I think: ‘I love what I do, why would I ever consider not continuing?’
“You’ve just got to keep your mind occupied. I’ve tried to read as much as I can, I’ve been getting into meditation. I’m a fidget, it’s really, really hard to do meditation for me.
“Sitting there, moving around, then there’s bugs on my arm, it’s really hard! The more and more you do it, like with anything, the better you get at it.”
www.autosport.com 2020-05-23 09:42:31