Record-breaking F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton says his 2020 F1 title victory ranks as one of his toughest yet as off-track challenges took their toll against the backdrop of an otherwise dominant campaign.

The Briton became the winningest F1 driver in history and drew level with Michael Schumacher with a seventh world title in 2020 during an unusual campaign clouded by the coronavirus crisis that forced a late start to the season and an intense schedule of 17 races over just 23 weeks.

Despite the off-track challenges of isolating between rounds and observing social distancing rules on events, it turned out to be arguably Hamilton’s most comprehensive title rout yet with 11 victories and a winning margin of 124 points over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas despite missing a round when he contracted COVID-19.

 

 

Reflecting on the year that has passed, Hamilton admits events off track - which also included his vociferous support of the Black Lives Matter movement - made this a year he won’t forget in a hurry.

“I think it’s almost impossible to say which one is harder than the other because every year you face something new and something different. I think this year, for me personally, I would say it’s been one of the hardest years, if not the hardest year because, you know, we’ve all dealt with isolation. 

“We’ve not been around people. There’s been a great loss of life. Life is not normal. I’m grateful that we got to race and it’s been… these races can take a lot out of you and I think, yeah, for me definitely, I think it’s a great achievement for Formula 1 to have got us back racing. 

“Thank God for the health and wellbeing of everyone here in this sport that’s managed to get safely through the year.” 

Hamilton is yet to agree on a new deal for the 2021 F1 World Championship but is expected to remain with the Mercedes AMG Petronas squad, with the only relative unknown being the length of what is speculated to be his final deal before retiring.

 

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