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Hamilton: Everyone will be rusty when racing returns

  • Published on 19 May 2020 12:56
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton believes everyone in the Formula 1 paddock will be rusty when the 2020 season starts after such a lengthy delay.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen the opening ten races of the year called off, with the last grand prix occurring almost half a year ago in Abu Dhabi, which concluded the 2019 campaign.

F1 is aiming to return in Austria at the beginning of July, kicking off a revised calendar that has not yet been confirmed. Although drivers were able to gain experience in their new cars at pre-season testing in February, Hamilton believes that it will take time to regain rhythm.

“I do hope to come back better,” Hamilton said in an interview with Mercedes. “We’re going to get in the car, we’re going to have Friday practice and we will all be rusty as hell. So it will be interesting to see how we hit the ground running.”

Earlier this month, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner shared a similar thought, stating he expects there to be a number of incidents when racing resumes this year.

Hamilton added that in order to make sure he is as honed in as possible, he has been speaking to senior engineers at Mercedes in order to make sure they turn up at the Red Bull Ring as the large gap from the last event doesn't exist. 

“But I’ve been on the phone with my team, speaking to Bono (Peter Bonnington), speaking to James [Vowles] and trying to discuss a plan with them. I think we all need to arrive utilising the tools we have.

“Race simulations, I probably will get in the simulator which I don’t always love, but utilising those tools to make sure when we come to that first race we hit the ground running and we’re ready, as if we’ve not missed any races.

“How can we arrive ni Austria, if it is Austria, like we’ve already done eight races? That’s going to be a challenge. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it but it's a good goal to have.”

Hamilton is aiming for a seventh world championship in 2020, which will pull him level on the all-time leaderboard with Michael Schumacher.

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Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 2,393
  • Podiums 99
  • Grand Prix 124
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (36)
  • Place of b. Tewin, United Kingdom
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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