Lewis Hamilton believes that drivers will be ‘rusty’ as they prepare to start the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, having been so long since their last race.
Drivers have not been able to test in 2020 spec cars since February, during Winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The season saw a delayed start until July due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, with the first race of the season becoming the 2020 Formula 1 Austria Grand Prix and the first ten races prior to it postponed or cancelled.
Hamilton spoke in a Mercedes video interview and explained that he the teams have had to make sure they are using available equipment to the best of their ability, so that they are prepared for the season ahead.
He also said it will be interesting to see how the team starts and that he has been speaking to his race engineer Peter Bonnington and Chief Strategist at Mercedes AMG Petronas James Vowles to prepare for the season.
“I do hope I’m going to come back better,
“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] and speaking to James [Vowles], and trying to discuss with them a plan.
“I think 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 – but utilising those tools 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 can reach the same number of world titles at Michael Schumacher in 2020. He will be looking to emulate the German as he stands only seven wins away from Schumacher’s ninety-one Formula 1 Wins.
Hamilton expressed that he feels ready for the season and is aware he has had to seek the time away from Formula 1 to reflect and improve on mistakes.
“I think if you are not improving and growing during these days, then what are we doing? You’re obviously just wasting time sitting on your backside,” he explained.
“There’s nothing going to be handed to any of us, we’ve got to go out there and get whatever we want, and you’ve got to want it more than the person you’re fighting against. And you’ve just got to get off your arse and do it.
“I’m in pretty decent shape, but I can always be in better shape. I see things and I think, ‘Damn, I’ve got a bit of fat here, shoot I’ve got to work harder, I’ve got to go for a run.
“In actually reality I don’t really have much fat! But there are people out there that have these things going through their minds, but you’ve just got to let go, find what it is you like, and say I’m going to do it, I’m not going to let anybody get in my way.“