Hamilton back at the wheel at Silverstone as he prepares for title defence
Reigning six-time champion Lewis Hamilton has driven a Formula 1 car for the first time since February, taking to the track at Silverstone to prepare himself ahead of the first race of the revised 2020 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton took the wheel of the 2018 Mercedes W09 – the car he used to claim his fifth world championship – at an overcast Silverstone, taking over from team mate Valtteri Bottas, who drove the car yesterday as part of Mercedes’ two-day private test in anticipation of the upcoming season start. It's understood that Ferrari will also be conducting their own similar private test.
Outside the car, meanwhile, images from both Hamilton and Mercedes’ social media showed him sporting a face mask, part of the measures that the team have imposed, along with COVID-19 testing for all team members and strict hand hygiene.
Meanwhile, commenting on his time in the car on Tuesday, Bottas said: “I think it was a very helpful day for the team. Obviously everyone being out from racing and the garage environment for a long time, and there are many new regulations, and we need to be cautious with different things for health. It was good to practise that.
“I think we learned a lot during the day, how to do things more efficiently and make sure everyone is going to be safe once we eventually start racing. I loved to be back in a car, and now I can't wait for Austria.”
As Bottas mentioned, both he and Hamilton are readying themselves for the Austrian Grand Prix season opener, taking place on July 3-5, with Hamilton beginning a year which could see him match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships.