Usually one of the busiest drivers on social media, Lewis Hamilton took time to himself over F1’s winter break, focusing on his recovery from Covid-19 and, of course, finalising his latest Mercedes deal.
Winning the 2020 World title at the Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton was sidelined two races later for testing positive for Covid-19.
The Mercedes driver was forced to sit out the Sakhir Grand Prix, before returning in Abu Dhabi where he wrapped up his championship-winning season with a 14th podium finish.
But while Hamilton went quiet after that, at least on social media, there was a lot going on in the background, most notably his contract negotiations with Mercedes.
Those eventually took place in the build-up to Christmas with Mercedes confirming in early February that the Brit will stay on for the 2021 season.
“The shut-off at the end of the year, taking time away from myself, wasn’t the easiest of breaks,” he said at the launch of Mercedes’ 2021 F1 car, the W12.
“I continue to be kind of conscious of what’s happening in the world. Posting pictures and celebrating of things, such as a contract being signed, is kind of not really important to me.
“And that’s not really a message that I want to be sending out to people who are losing families, who are losing relatives still, who are struggling in a pandemic. That’s just not where I’m at.
“So I just kind of kept to myself.
“I was focused on my recovery because it wasn’t a quick situation and getting myself back to full strength, and getting the deal done, and working on some personal relationships that I have.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 2, 2021
Hamilton was one of six Formula 1 drivers to test positive for Covid-19 with his team boss Toto Wolff adding his name to the list of personnel coming down with the virus.
With varying reports as to how long someone who has had it is immune, and whether they are immune to other strains, Hamilton says Mercedes will continue to put safety first.
“That’s not really been discussed and I don’t really know what I will be doing differently,” he said to Racefans.net. “Of course safety is going to be key and, of course, I do not want to miss a single race this year.
“I think we did 99.8 percent of the time right, whatever it was, last year. It was pretty spot-on in terms of how we conducted ourselves. We just were really, really unlucky. It’s difficult to be 100 percent safe.
“But it’ll be, I would imagine, reduced travelling, it will be a lot of time at home in a small bubble like everyone else is working on. And that’s kind of it for now. But I will coordinate with the team what is the best way forward.”