Lewis Hamilton was on buoyant form at last week's Silverstone unveiling of the Mercedes W09, the car that he hopes will carry him to his fifth Formula 1 title. He was in a relaxed mood thanks to an extended winter break and he had yet more reasons to be upbeat, for even standing still the new W09 looked mighty impressive.
As world champion Hamilton had some commitments in December, but thereafter Mercedes made few demands on his time. That wasn't coincidence - it reflects the improving relationship between Hamilton and his team boss Toto Wolff, who knows better than most what makes his superstar tick.
Wolff realised that if he left Hamilton to do his own thing for a few months, he would come back fresh. While the 2017 campaign didn't go down to the wire - unlike some of the preceding seasons - any extended period at the sort of competitive level Hamilton maintains is bound to be draining. Time off is welcome and creates space for Hamilton to rediscover his love of driving.