Hamilton: I felt like I’ve never been away

Jamie Woodhouse

Lewis Hamilton feels like he's never been away after Silverstone test.

Lewis Hamilton said he had no rust whatsoever after returning to the track during a Mercedes test at Silverstone.

In a two-day outing ahead of the 2020 season, Hamilton took over from team-mate Valtteri Bottas who had enjoyed a day behind the wheel of the W09 on Tuesday.

But while Bottas’ runs were done in the dry, Hamilton had to contend with the drizzle which fell for most of the day.

That didn’t bother the six-time World Champion though, who is used to driving in his home country’s famous conditions.

“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,” he told the Mercedes social media channels.

“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 off 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 had previously said that drivers would be “rusty as hell” when they stepped back in to an F1 car.

But now after finding out for himself, he has changed his mind.

“I didn’t feel like I’ve ever left the water, so that’s a positive,” he explained.

“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.”

The 2020 season will begin with the Austrian Grand Prix from July 3-5.

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