Sunday, October 2, 2022
HomeSportLewis Hamilton opens up on 'difficult period' ahead of 2022 season

Lewis Hamilton opens up on 'difficult period' ahead of 2022 season


Hamilton made the admission at a Q&A sponsors event ahead of this weekend’s 2022 opener in Bahrain. The Briton was leading the final race of last season by over 12 seconds when a late safety car led to Verstappen overtaking him on the final lap.

Hamilton said: “The off-season has been a bit different. It’s been a bit crazy. Abu Dhabi was a difficult period of time, probably for all of us.

“We are living in a crazy time in the world but I had to unplug. Just so you know if anyone wants to do it, unplugging from social media is a really good thing.

“I missed everyone that follows and supports but I needed the time to re-centre and refocus.”

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton fears Mercedes issues will last two months ‘It’s crazy’

Hamilton’s social media absence sparked rumours he was on the verge of an F1 exit over the winter. However, in February he broke his silence by posting “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!”

At the Mercedes W13 car launch, Hamilton addressed the rumours head-on, adding he needed to “take a step back” from the sport after the end of last season.

He said: “I never ever said I was going to stop. It was obviously a difficult time for me, and it was a time where I really needed to take a step back, focus on being present, so I had my family all around me and creating great moments.”

Hamilton returned to the paddock for the Bahrain pre-season test session last week. Mercedes had a mixed test session but there are signs the car may not be the dominant challenger F1 fans have become accustomed to.

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Hamilton returned to the paddock for the Bahrain pre-season test session last week. Mercedes had a mixed test session but there are signs the car may not be the dominant challenger F1 fans have become accustomed to.

Hamilton and team-mate George Russell both completed a total of 384 laps, the most on the grid, but the lap times were down on their main rivals. The team’s fastest lap over the three days was a whole second slower than Red Bull and three tenths down on Ferrari.

After the session, Hamilton continued to fuel rumours he could be on his way out of F1 within years. After the final test session, he admitted he is not planning on being in F1 past 40 years of age meaning his current deal ending in 2023 could be his last.

He said: “I haven’t thought about that number, because I’m 37. I’ve still got a bit to go, so I honestly haven’t thought about that and I don’t plan on being here close to that age.”



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