Hamilton: F1 return at Abu Dhabi GP like "first day back to school"

Lewis Hamilton says his return to Formula 1 action at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix felt like the "first day back to school"

Hamilton: F1 return at Abu Dhabi GP like "first day back to school"

The F1 world champion only got the green light to race in Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, after a number of successful negative tests for coronavirus and special permission allowed him to leave Bahrain and enter Abu Dhabi and the Yas Island 'biosphere'.

But he wasted little time in getting up to speed on his comeback, and ended Friday's second practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit just behind his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Speaking for the first time since he came back to the paddock, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: "I was very, very happy and grateful this morning, just to be back here. And, obviously to be able to try and finish off the season strong, I was super excited.

"It felt like a first day back to school kind of thing. So it definitely took a minute to get back used to it for the first session, and then the second one, I think [I was] still getting my bearings, but not too bad.

"I think we got through most of the stuff we missed out in the 40-minute session [stop when his brakes were being fixed] at the start of the day, but otherwise got most of the stuff done."

Hamilton said he felt no pressure to need to come back for the final race of the season, having already won the championship, but said he was eager to enjoy one last outing this year.

"I just want to come here and enjoy it this weekend and enjoy what I do," he said. "It's been a huge amount of work from everyone back at the factories, and it's been a privilege to race with them this year.

"So we don't have anything to prove this weekend. I don't feel like I have anything to prove. Just here to have some fun."

Asked if it had felt strange to see George Russell racing his car in Bahrain last weekend, Hamilton praised the job that the young Briton did.

"I think George did an amazing job, and I think everyone knows that," he said. "I think it was definitely odd. And from my 27 years of racing, I've never missed a race. So yeah, one day, I'll write a book about it. But as I said, I'm just grateful to be back."

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