Lewis Hamilton ‘excited’ about F1 comeback, praises George Russell’s ‘incredible job’ as Mercedes replacement

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Lewis Hamilton reflects on Friday’s two practice sessions, his return to F1 and George Russell’s weekend with Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton reflects on Friday’s two practice sessions, his return to F1 and George Russell’s weekend with Mercedes.

‘Super excited’ Lewis Hamilton said his return to F1 on Friday at the Abu Dhabi GP felt like ‘the first day back to school’ as he returned to duty in his Mercedes, while praising the ‘ amazing job ”that George Russell did in his absence. .

After missing last weekend’s race in Bahrain due to coronavirus, Hamilton was back in his Mercedes car for the start of the season-ending F1 Grand Prix – with the world champion finishing fifth in the first practice session and second of the evening session, just 0.2 seconds from the team. -mate Valtteri Bottas.

“I was very, very happy and grateful this morning just to be back here and obviously being able to try to finish this season strong,” said Hamilton, who won his seventh title last month in Turkey.

“Super excited, it was like the first day back to school. ”

Forced to self-isolate at his Bahrain hotel after testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday, November 30, Hamilton only resumed training earlier this week before flying to Abu Dhabi on Thursday after dismissing a negative result.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff spoke to Simon Lazenby and Paul di Resta about Lewis Hamilton’s return and George Russell’s future.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff spoke to Simon Lazenby and Paul di Resta about Lewis Hamilton’s return and George Russell’s future.

The Englishman admitted: “It definitely took me a minute to get used to it for the first session, and in the second I think I was getting my bearings again.

“But not too bad. I think we got over most of the things that we missed [due to a brake issue] at the start of the day. ”

Hamilton experienced mild symptoms of Covid-19 and, when asked by F1 about his condition, he replied, “It’s not something I really want to go into. It was an experience, for sure. ”

The multiple F1 record holder will aim to move up the timesheets by final practice on Saturday, which starts at 10 a.m. on Sky Sports F1, before the last qualifying session at 1 p.m.

Hamilton on Russell’s ‘incredible job’ and why he has ‘nothing to prove’

Hamilton missed his very first F1 race at the Sakhir GP after a record breaking streak of 265 consecutive starts, with Russell – a Mercedes junior – taking over from Williams to replace him.

Russell not only impressed in Hamilton’s absence, he came close to winning a remarkable race – only to be denied twice, by a Mercedes pit stop error and then a flat tire.

He returned to his Williams team for this weekend’s race.

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George Russell remained bitterly disappointed after failing to win for the first time in Formula 1 with Mercedes.

George Russell was bitterly disappointed after failing to win for the first time in Formula 1 with Mercedes.

“I think George did a great job, I think everyone knows that,” said Hamilton, before adding on his week: “It was really weird – in 27 years of racing I haven’t never missed a race.

“Someday I’ll write a book about it, but like I said, I’m just grateful to be back. ”

But Hamilton insists he has “nothing to prove” at the Abu Dhabi GP this weekend.

“I just wanted to come here this weekend and enjoy what I’m doing,” he explained. “It has been a tremendous job for everyone in the factories, and it has been a privilege to run with them this year.

“We have nothing to prove this weekend, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, I’m just here to have fun. ”



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