GUEST COLUMN: Welcome back Lewis Hamilton!

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

By Carol M. Creasey

Lewis Hamilton joined the rest of the Formula One paddock on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. Having already taken his seventh championship three races ago, and by a large margin of points, he had nothing to prove, and stated that he was there to have fun.

He took part in Friday’s free practice, trying various settings to get the best out of his car, but it was clear by third practice, that the Mercs were not going to run away with qualifying, as Lewis was sixth and Valtteri ninth.

By the time qualifying came round, in Q1, Lewis had his lap deleted for exceeding track limits. He did just enough to get into Q2 and then posted the fastest lap, with Bottas very close.

Although, as usual, he gave his all in Q3, it was not enough to clinch pole, which went to Verstappen, followed by Bottas, who had beaten Lewis by less than a tenth of a second. Lewis congratulated Max afterwards and explained that it had taken him longer to get settled back into his car, but said he was looking forward to the fight. He would give it everything that he had.

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Immediately after qualifying Lewis was interviewed by David Coulthard, he was visibly thinner than before, but as usual his spirit was strong. When David told him he had been honoured by Silverstone, by having the start/finish straight named the “Hamilton Straight”. He was  clearly moved and humbled. This is the first time that any part of the legendary British track got named after a driver,  but it was felt his amazing record of wins, poles and world championships deserved to be recognised in this way.

Lewis is very used to receiving accolades, he has won numerous awards, too many to mention, but he never takes it for granted, he remains humble and grounded, always giving credit to his father and his team for everything that he had achieved.

Millions of fans are ecstatic to have Lewis back for the last race of the season. Considering what he has achieved this year, it would have been a shame for him not to have been there. He may not win tomorrow because it’s clear that COVID-19 has sapped his strength, however he makes no excuses about that.

To his fans he is already a winner and, whatever happens, he will turn up and put his heart and soul into his performance, which is what everyone loves to see. Welcome back Lewis, you have brightened up so many lives!

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