Hamilton on his “first day back to school” and Russell’s performance

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After his return to Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton says he will have to “write a book” about his absence and says George Russell “did an amazing job”.

At Friday’s Abu Dhabi free practice sessions Lewis Hamilton made his return to Formula 1, after missing last week’s Sakhir Grand Prix. The Briton talks about coming back after battling COVID-19.

“It felt like a first day back to school kind of thing,” Lewis said.

“So it definitely took a minute to get back used to it for the first session, and then the second one, I think [I was] still getting my bearings, but not too bad.

“I think we got through most of the stuff we missed out in the 40 minute session [stop when his brakes were being fixed] at the start of the day, but otherwise got most of the stuff done.

“I just want to come here and enjoy it this weekend and enjoy what I do. It’s been a huge amount of work from everyone back at the factories, and it’s been a privilege to race with them this year.

“So we don’t have anything to prove this weekend. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. Just here to have some fun.”

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The seven-time champion adds the team used the practice sessions to test components for 2021.

“It’s definitely been a bit of a messy day with a lot going on. The guys have obviously been on the road for three weeks, so we’ve had a couple of gremlins, but we come through like we always do and tomorrow, I know will be better.

“We got through a lot of things that we needed to test for next year today. And the guys are working as hard as they can for things next year.”

At the Sakhir Grand Prix Hamilton was replaced by Mercedes junior driver, currently driving for Williams, George Russell. What did Lewis think of Russell’s performance?

“I think George did an amazing job, and I think everyone knows that. I think it was definitely odd. And from my 27 years of racing, I’ve never missed a race. So yeah, one day, I’ll write a book about it.

“But as I said, I’m just grateful to be back,” concluded the Briton.

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