‘The freshest I’ve ever felt’ - Hamilton energised for new F1 season

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton says he feels energised going into the 2022 campaign as he looks to bounce back from the disappointing title loss to Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
© xpbimages.com

Hamilton missed out on the 2021 drivers’ championship in dramatic circumstances at the Yas Marina Circuit in December.

His defeat to Verstappen, which was surrounded by controversy due to how FIA race director Michael Masi handled the late Safety Car period, saw Hamilton take a two-month hiatus from social media leading to potential questions about whether he’d continue in F1.

Hamilton made his return to social media at the start of February, writing: ‘I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!’.

Reflecting on his break over the winter, Hamilton said on the first day of the Barcelona test: “Naturally, I think at the end of any season, probably for those that are around my age, of course, you’re thinking about the future.

“You’re thinking about what are the next steps, what are the right steps for you to take, what’s right for you in terms of overall happiness? So I always evaluate all my options. But I did make a commitment to the team early on in the season, and ultimately I love what I do. I love being a part of the team. I love working with, and I’ve said it so many times, everyone towards a common goal.

“I feel I’m at my best. So why do I need to leave? There are so many different ways you can refocus and be recentered, and I would say this [winter] is one of the best that I’ve experienced. So I feel the freshest today that I feel I ever have.”

Hamilton spent much of his winter break with his family, cutting himself off from the world of F1.

The 37-year-old said that he didn’t discuss his future with his father, Anthony Hamilton, and wanted to focus on “living in the moment”.

“Of course, I speak to my dad about those things, because it’s something we started together, but we didn’t touch on it,” Hamilton added.

“It was generally more about being present, living in the moment, creating memories. I know sometimes in life we get so focused and stuck into certain things like work that we forget to do those things. It was a great time just refreshing. It was the best period of time I’ve ever had with my family.”

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