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Mercedes return was like the "first day back at school" - Hamilton

Mercedes return was like the "first day back at school" - Hamilton

F1 News

Mercedes return was like the "first day back at school" - Hamilton

Mercedes return was like the "first day back at school" - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton likened his return to his Mercedes to the "first day back at school" after recovering from Covid-19 in time to drive in Friday practice in Abu Dhabi.

World champion Hamilton finished fifth quickest in the first practice session and ended the second in second place behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas, but said it took time to settle back into his role.

"I was very, very happy and grateful this morning just to be back here and to try and finish off the season strong," he told Sky Sports F1.

"Super excited, felt like a first day back at school kind of thing. It definitely took a minute to get back used to it and then the second [session] I was still getting my bearings but still, not too bad. I think we got through most of our stuff."

Hamilton dismissed any idea that he is aiming to prove himself ahead of 2021 with a strong finish to the season, saying: "I don't think I need to do anything more to seal what I have done. It's not important at all.

"I just want to come here and enjoy what I do. It has been a huge amount of work from everyone back at the factories and it has been a privilege to race with them this year. I don't feel I have anything to prove. I am just here to have some fun."

There was concern at the conclusion of the second session as Hamilton rolled to a halt in the pits having exited his garage as he struggled to engage a gear.

The issue seemed to be fixed with a steering wheel change and he has insisted there is no worry about the issue persisting into the weekend.

"It has definitely been a bit of a messy day," he conceded. "There is a lot going on and the guys have been on the road for three weeks so there have been some gremlins but we have punched through like we always do.

"I know it will be better tomorrow. We got through a lot of things for next year we needed to test today so the guys have just worked as hard as they can to work on things for next year."

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