Lewis Hamilton says that he is enjoying being able to refresh himself during the coronavirus-induced break from Formula 1, having contemplated an actual sabbatical in recent years.
The six-time world drivers’ champion believes that a period away from racing would have been good for his physical and mental state, but would have also put him on the back foot upon his return.
“I’m generally a very quiet person, and I do enjoy ‘me’ time, and I think it’s really important for us all to have that,” said Hamilton in a Mercedes-AMG Formula One Team video.
“I’m a workaholic, and once you get into the rhythm you’re just moving, from one thing to the next, squeezing in training, and making sure that you find that balance.
“There have been times probably in the past five years or so that I thought to myself it will be good for my body and my mind to take a rest for a year.
“But you can’t step away. I don’t think for an athlete that’s in their prime that it’s ever a good thing to step away for a year, and then come back.
“Technology moves so fast, at such a rate, you need to stay on top of this car and the development – to take a sabbatical is just not on the cards.
“But we’ve been handed almost a part-sabbatical, which I’m enjoying, and I feel fresher and healthier than I’ve ever been, and the struggle for everyone is keeping your mind clear.”
Hamilton also explained that the suspension of the season has afforded him the opportunity to address weaknesses in his physical fitness.
“Having this time gives you more time to focus on areas of weakness,” he noted.
“So there’s tedious things like calf muscles, and doing calf exercises, which is not exciting. Glute exercises, which again are quite boring, but all really important.
“I think ultimately over time your body forms into a shape, into a pattern – there’s strengths and weaknesses on all of our bodies – and when you go to the gym often you work the big muscles, but not necessarily the small ones in between.
“So, I’m really trying to get in deep and really trying to refine my body, and again just trying to find the next level; how can I be fitter than I was?
“The start of the season I was feeling great, obviously it was a shame that we didn’t get to start, but this has been a real decent time to focus on trying to improve on other areas.”