Lewis Hamilton said one day he will “write a book” about his ordeal after missing the Sakhir GP due to COVID-19.
The seven-time World Champion tested positive prior to the second race weekend in Bahrain, meaning he couldn’t take part in the Sakhir Grand Prix around the Outer Circuit.
George Russell made his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir GP in Hamilton’s place, but fortunately Hamilton has now recovered and returned to the W11 cockpit for free practice ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing P2 in the afternoon session.
Reports suggested that the virus certainly took its toll on Hamilton as the Briton missed his first race in “27 years”, and he said one day he will write a book about it all.
“I was very very happy and grateful this morning just to be back here and obviously to try and finish off this season strong,” he told reporters at Yas Marina Circuit.
“Super excited, it felt like first day back at school kind of thing.
“It definitely took a minute to get back used to it for the first session and then the second one I think still getting my bearings, but not too bad.
“I think George did an amazing job, I think everyone knows that.
“It was definitely odd for me. In my 27 years of racing I’ve never missed a race, so one day I’ll write a book about it.
“But as I said I’m just grateful to be back.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 11, 2020
Hamilton suffered with a braking issue which cut a chunk of time out of his FP1, while near the end of FP2 he came to a halt in the pit lane, unable to find a gear.
But he said there were no major issues, and instead they were just the kind of “gremlins” which crop up when the car has been on the road for three weeks in a row.
“It’s definitely been a bit of a messy day, there’s a lot going on, it has obviously been on the road for three weeks so we’ve had a couple of gremlins,” he explained.
“But we punched through them like we always do and tomorrow I know we’ll be better.
“We got through a lot of things that we needed to test for next year today, so the guys are just working as hard as they can to work on things for next year.”
While Hamilton was pleased to be back to finish off the season, he certainly didn’t feel that he had anything to “prove”.
“Well I don’t think I need to do any more to seal what I’ve done,” he said.
“Not important at all, I just want to come here and enjoy this weekend and enjoy what I do.
“It’s been a huge amount of work from everyone back at the factories, and it’s been a privilege to race with them this year, so we don’t have anything to prove this weekend, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove.”