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
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022