Lewis Hamilton says he ‘has never been more focused on my health’

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, reaches for the railing. Hungary, July 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, moves his hand towards the railing. Hungary, July 2022.

Lewis Hamilton says he has “never been more focused on my health” and that the pandemic “really highlighted the importance in our job of not missing a race”.

As the second oldest driver on the grid, it is no surprise to discover Hamilton is putting more focus on looking after his body now than he did as a young driver.

Being able to compete at a high level at an older age is a growing trend in recent years. Tom Brady is still in the NFL at the age of 45, James Anderson features for England’s Test side at 40 and Roger Federer is preparing for his comeback to tennis at the age of 41.

Even in F1 there is a shining example in Fernando Alonso, who this month signed a contract with Aston Martin that will see him race until he is 43. Hamilton is no spring chicken himself at 37 but his performances of recent years do not suggest he has lost any of his pace.


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That can perhaps be best explained by an increased focus on his own body and how best to prepare it for the gruelling Formula 1 season.

“Every year I’ve always looked at trying to help figure out how I can be better and how I can have more energy,” the seven-time former World Champion told GQ. “How can I be a better team-mate? How can I feel better and how can I balance my life out better?

“Just over time, becoming more and more conscious of how I’m treating myself, being more in tune with my body and what my body needs and when it needs to rest.”

Hamilton said the COVID pandemic, an illness he suffered from twice, the first time having to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix, put into sharp focus the need for drivers to be healthy all year round.

“Not getting sick through the pandemic really highlighted the importance in our job of not missing a race by catching the virus, so we took a huge leap in terms of hygiene,” he said. “That’s stayed with us, so generally I’ve never been more focused on my health.

“I also have found that rather than trying to fix a problem once you’ve got an illness or something, it’s better to try to pre-empt it by being as healthy as possible. For me, I’m just always looking at how I can gain an advantage. How can I be healthier? How can I have more energy?”

Hamilton’s routine around the race has changed so much he has gone from not even stretching before he gets into the car to having a full day of recovery following a grand prix.

“Recovery has been a real focus for me in the past couple of years,” he added. “Now, I always make sure the day after a race is a complete day off – I make sure it’s a day to myself for self-care. I do cryotherapy, I might do some pool work and I make sure I get physio or acupuncture that day, or just a steam room.

“Also, when I was younger I honestly didn’t stretch before or after I got in the car. I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge it’s a good way to loosen yourself up, so stretching is super-important to me now.”