Hamilton ‘Ready’ for Magnificent Seven

Hamilton ‘Ready’ for Magnificent Seven

After more than 100 days away from the wheel, you could forgive Lewis Hamilton for having some nerves about returning to his all-conquering Mercedes car. There would be some rust and some reticence as he embarked on a testing session on a rainy day at the Silverstone circuit, where the 2020 season will stop by for two scheduled races in the summer. But Hamilton reported no problems as he took his F1 W11 for a spin at the Midlands venue, confirming that he got through a ‘solid program’ in his first drive in more than three months.

“When you leave the garage the first time you get this buzz, and it doesn’t matter how many years you do it, it always feels new and fresh, which is great,” the Brit said, referring to his time away from the sport.

Formula One chiefs have released a revised schedule for the 2020 campaign, and that will feature eight races across Europe – starting in Austria and passing through England, Hungary, Spain, Belgium, and finally Italy.

And that will hand Hamilton the chance to secure a seventh Drivers’ World Championship – a feat that would draw him level at the top of the all-time standings with the legendary Michael Schumacher.

The Mercedes man is a hot favorite in the F1 betting odds to do exactly that, and ominously for his main competition such as Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen, Hamilton is up for the challenge ahead.

“I’m ready, I feel fit and I’m excited,” he said after the successful testing session.

A New Beginning

One of the other reasons that Hamilton is in such a positive mood ahead of the new season is that his future with Mercedes looks set to be confirmed.

There had been much speculation that he would be looking for a new team when his current contract runs out at the end of the 2020 season, with Ferrari linked heavily to the 35-year-old.

But Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has now confirmed he will be sitting down for talks with his prized asset over an extension in the near future. “The moment Lewis touches down back in Europe we will carve out what needs to be carved out,” he said. “We have been together for eight years now and the agreements don’t need to be reinvented. There is a good basis and I believe we could come to a point pretty swiftly.”

If the Mercedes engineers can help Hamilton to create a slice of history this season, he will have absolutely no reason to leave anyway. The British driver has won six World Championship crowns in a glittering career so far, and his comprehensive triumph in 2019 took him past the five titles won by the unflappable Argentine, Juan Manuel Fangio.

And now Hamilton has his sights set on Schumacher’s record of seven victories, which given the supremacy of Mercedes in recent seasons – they have won six consecutive Constructors’ Championships – seems to be inevitable, even if the shortening of the 2020 campaign gives other drivers a greater chance of usurping the German outfit.

And after a magnificent seventh title would come an unprecedented eighth…don’t bet against Hamilton cementing his status as the greatest ever in the next few years.