June 11, 2020 | News | No Comments
Lewis Hamilton described his return to the cockpit with Mercedes on Wednesday at Silverstone as “a lot of fun”, the six-time world champion feeling like he never “left the water”.
Mercedes ramped up its preparations for next month’s season opening Austrian Grand Prix double-header, drilling its crews during two days of running to work under F1’s new safety constraints and allowing Bottas and Hamilton to get back to the grind.
The Briton’s day started on a wet track but the team still managed to run through its various programs while Hamilton was delighted to put in some good mileage on the Silver Arrows’ 2018 W09.
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“Honestly it felt just great to be back in the car, a lot of fun,” he said.
“When you leave the garage the first time, you get this buzz, and it doesn’t matter how many years you do it, it always feels new and fresh.
“Obviously this is an older car, but it still felt fantastic. We got through a solid programme today.
“Valtteri’s day was dry, my day started of wet, so quite a greasy Silverstone track. But obviously I grew up in this kind of weather, so I’m used to it. I was still able to get a good feel of the car.”
Hamilton is among those F1 drivers who haven’t indulged in any sim racing in the past three months to keep their skills sharp. But the 35-year-old was on it from the outset.
“I didn’t feel like I’ve ever left the water, so that’s a positive,” Hamilton said.
“I think every time you take a big break – I think it’s been 103 days or something – you always wonder whether you can still drive.
“So it’s a good feeling to know of course I can, I’m ready, I feel fit. I hope you guys are all well and excited for what’s coming up.”
In addition to Mercedes, Ferrari planned a test with an older-spec car at Fiorano this week while Racing will conduct a filming day with its current car at Silverstone next week.
The 2020 F1 season will kick at the Red Bull Ring on July 5.
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