The revelation came to light during an end of season review on the team's official YouTube channel, with Hamilton joined by team principal Toto Wolff and reserve driver Mick Schumacher as they addressed a packed room at their Brackley headquarters.
Hamilton admits faking illness
The absence of George Russell was addressed by Wolff, who revealed that the man from King's Lynn was struggling with illness.
Yet it was Hamilton's follow-up that revealed the lengths the 38-year-old was willing to go to in order go get out of testing.
"George is really ill, it's not a sickie that he's pulled," Wolff said.
“I was wondering,” Hamilton replied. “In the past I have done that to miss the test days, because I just generally don’t like test days.
“So yesterday when I heard that he was sick, I was like ‘Ah, he’s one-upped me, he’s gone to another level!'”
Pre-season testing takes place between February 21-23 next year, one week ahead of the curtain-raiser in Bahrain as excitement builds for lights out once again.
Hamilton will of course be present, as the Mercedes star hopes that the Silver Arrows can take the fight to Red Bull after what was a disappointing season for the team in 2023.
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