Hamilton: Melbourne cancellation was “a shock to the system”

Lewis Hamilton says that the last minute cancellation of the Australian GP was a “shock to the system” – and the Mercedes Formula 1 star fears that races held behind closed doors will be “worse than a test day”, with no atmosphere.

Hamilton: Melbourne cancellation was “a shock to the system”

On Thursday in Melbourne, Hamilton questioned why the F1 circus had travelled to Australia as the coronavirus crisis began to take hold, but nevertheless he hadn’t expected the event to be called off on the eve of practice.

In subsequent weeks other races have been cancelled or postponed, and the 2020 season is now expected to begin with no spectators in Austria in July.

“I think it really, really was a shock to the system,” Hamilton said in a Mercedes video interview.

“Obviously on that Thursday I commented my opinion as to whether or not we should have been there, and to wake up the next day with the excitement that I’m going to be getting in the car, and then to hear that we’re not going to be going to the track, it was very, very surreal.

“We weren’t quite sure what was going to happen, and then you miss practice one, and the practice two went, and qualifying went. But I stayed there through the weekend.”

Hamilton said it was particularly difficult as he felt he was better prepared than ever.

“Every year I know how to get straight into the zone, I know what preparation means, I know how to be there and ready for the first race, so that we start off better than ever.

“Each year you’re refining it a little bit, to make sure you arrive even better, and start on the right foot.

“And we didn’t get to race. It was definitely a difficult few days, and then following on that from that having something that you love so much, not taken away from you, but it’s not happening at the moment. I miss driving.”

Read Also:

 

While expressing frustration at potentially racing in front of empty grandstands, Hamilton has been encouraged by fans who want to see the sport return, even if only on TV.

“Around the world, all the races we go to, the more fans are there, the more atmosphere we have,” he said. “That’s why you have places like Silverstone and Monza.

“So it’s going to be very empty. What’s great is I’m getting messages from people around the world who are struggling during this period because they’re not getting to watch sports, and it just shows how significant sport is in people’s lives. It brings us all together, and it’s so exciting and captivating.

“I don’t know how exciting it’s going to be for people watching on TV, but it’s going to be better than nothing.

"But for us it’s going to be like a test day, probably even worse than a test day, in the sense that on a test day there aren’t a huge amount of people that come to watch, but there are still some, whereas here you’re going to have nobody in the crowd, and you’re just going to see empty seats as you’re driving round.

“But racing is racing. I don’t think any of us have truly had time to unleash the potential of our cars. So I’m excited to get back in, I really, really do miss it.”

Hamilton insisted that the enforced break had its positives.

“It’s a blessing on one side because it gives you more appreciation for the things that you love and the things that you do, and this has given me more energy and determination and inspiration to keep delivering and keep working with this great team, so I’m excited.”

shares
comments
Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost: How their stats compare

Previous article

Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost: How their stats compare

Next article

Austin 2018: The day Raikkonen proved doubters wrong

Austin 2018: The day Raikkonen proved doubters wrong
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021