Lewis Hamilton’s ‘amazing’ recovery powers continue to rattle his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. The demands placed on F1 drivers are higher than ever with a record 23-race calendar in 2023 and seven-time world champion Hamilton has been described as a ‘genuine phenomenon’ for his ability to recover, despite soaring around the world for various commitments between races.
Hamilton, 38, has a jet-setting lifestyle and spent his free time ahead of the new season traveling the world, signing up for a birthday trip to Antarctica as he put a miserable campaign behind him 2022 without a win.
But the legendary Brit also racks up the air miles between Grands Prix and often travels the world despite such short recovery times between races. And Mercedes team principal Wolff recalls how baffled he was by his driver’s coolness on the race weekend when the pair were first shown.
“When we met, I had the same kind of feeling – how is that possible?” Wolff said GPF Fans. And Wolff also recalled how Hamilton achieved one of the best qualifying laps in recent F1 history straight after a long excursion.
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Hamilton snatched pole from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2018 with a flawless lap around the iconic Marina Bay street circuit.
And the late Niki Lauda was stunned by his speed just days after crossing the world – Hamilton later describing the performance as “certainly one of the best laps of my career”.
“I remember Niki [Lauda] telling me in Singapore, before doing this amazing performance, Lewis had basically traveled around the world,” Wolff said.
“He had gone to Shanghai to launch his fashion collection, went to Los Angeles, went to New York, went back to London, then back to Singapore, and Niki said ‘How can you afford this?’, and I I said ‘Let’s wait and see’.”
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Wolff continues to be impressed with Hamilton’s extremely useful knack for recovering during flights, which allows him to always perform at the highest level in the crucial moments of race day. “He’s great because every time we fly together he gets on the plane and sleeps, whether it’s day or night,” he added.
“Whatever the situation, he is very good at regenerating himself. It’s a real phenomenon. But we are all different in terms of relaxation, regeneration while traveling, different impulses from different countries, different people in different roles or jobs.
“It’s something that helps him regenerate, when another person has to be home lying on the couch, so we’re all different in that regard.”
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