Guess who is back, back again…

Date published: January 17 2018

Lewis Hamilton is back on social media, putting an end to his self-imposed exile.

Following a controversial post about his nephew in a dress, Hamilton withdrew from social media, deleting all his posts.

However, earlier this week, he returned with a single message on Instagram.

The World Champion wrote: “2018. A chance to revisit every goal, every challenge, every dream.

“A chance to be driven, hard working, positive, and everything you want to be, all over again.

“I will never stop, I have no finish line. Join me this year in reaching beyond your wildest dreams.”

Button: Lewis brought out the best in me at McLaren

Date published: January 2 2018

Jenson Button says he enjoyed some of his best race wins when he had Lewis Hamilton as a team-mate at McLaren as his compatriot brought out the best in him.

Shortly after winning the 2009 Drivers’ title with Brawn, Button joined McLaren ahead of the 2010 season and he would team up with Hamilton, who won the 2008 title, at the Woking-based squad until 2012.

Although McLaren failed to win the title during their time together, they were regularly challenging for race wins and Button believes despite the added pressures, he enjoyed some of his best race wins during that period.

“Our relationship was interesting,” he told Sky Sports. “Because I came from Brawn, where I won the World Championship in 2009 – and he won the previous World Championship in 2008, with McLaren.

“I moved to his team, if you like, so I walked in the door looking for that challenge of racing against Lewis Hamilton.

“Both British, racing for a British team, both World Champions, fresh new World Champions, so it put a lot of pressure on us and that made it fun, I really enjoyed that challenge.

“He is unbelievably quick and, over one lap, he is the quickest guy I think that has ever driven a Formula 1 car.

“In a race, I could challenge him, and we could race for wins.

“Over those three years we won a lot and some of the races I did win were the best races in my career, because I had to beat Lewis to achieve them.”

Hamilton: I don’t see myself as Merc team leader

Date published: January 2 2018

Lewis Hamilton says he is just a “small link in a long chain” at Mercedes and doesn’t see himself as the “leader of the team”.

With Nico Rosberg retiring on the back of his 2016 Drivers’ Championship, it meant Hamilton had a new team-mate in Valterri Bottas.

The Finn made a solid start to the season, but he eventually fell away and finished third in the standings as Hamilton won a fourth title with Sebastian Vettel finishing second.

Hamilton has several years on Bottas as 2017 marked his 10th full campaign in F1 and his fifth year as a Merc driver while the Finn only made his debut in 2013.

The four-time World Champion, though, played down any talk of being considered the team leader.

“I don’t look at myself as the leader of the team – I believe I am a small link in a long chain,” he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

“We all play a key link. The key is making the link as strong as it can be and that’s what we have managed to do.”

Hamilton and the Mercedes hierarchy enjoyed a much healthier relationship last year after a couple of tense seasons which came on the back of on-track clashes with his former team-mate Rosberg.

The 32-year-old says a clear the air meeting with Merc motorsport boss Toto Wolff during the winter played a major role.

“If you are at the office and your boss doesn’t want you there it’s going to be a shit environment, isn’t it? You want to work there but you [also] don’t,” he said.

“That’s just negativity drawing away from what you’re great at.

“That meeting was really important to reset things, so when I arrive and the guys know I’m going to be giving it everything, they work that extra bit harder, and vice versa.

“If there’s any negativity or question, it can only hold us back, so it was almost a purification of the relationship, and a re-start of the solid foundation we had already built years ago.”

Hamilton: ‘Verstappen can be title contender’

Date published: December 29 2017

Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen can turn from rising young star into title contender, but has another top three in mind for the battle at the top next season.

Hamilton and Verstappen are yet to truly go head-to-head on the track, yet the four-time World Champion knows the Dutchman could cause him problems in the future.

“He can be a title contender,” Hamilton told Sky Sports News.

“His abilities at the core are fantastic and we’ve all seen that come to light with the great car he’s racing in and the great team he’s racing in.”

Whilst we await to see whether Red Bull can be competitive from the very start of the season, Hamilton is hoping that a revival from his former team McLaren can mean that three heavyweights can fight for the title.

“I’m hoping McLaren with the new engine on board can hopefully rise from the drought and come back into a positive light and be the great team they are,” Hamilton added.

“Myself, Sebastian and Fernando… that’s what’s on the top of my mind.”

Hamilton rates W08 as ‘toughest’ car

Date published: December 27 2017

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes’ 2017 title-winning car was the “toughest” car to understand as it was “tricky getting it to work”.

The 32-year-old won his fourth Drivers’ Championship this year, but he didn’t have it all his own way, especially during the early rounds of the season.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel initially had the upper hand as Hamilton appeared to struggle to come to grips with the W08, but once he found his groove, the Brit eased to the title with nine race wins and 11 pole positions.

Hamilton, though, says this year’s challenger was not an easy car.

“This is the toughest one,” he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

“Some of the issues we’ve had have been with us for years and we are only just realising we need to really do something.

“New car, being on a wider scale magnifies the issue, I think. A different tyre dynamic, it has been the hardest in that respect.”

He added: “2008 was a difficult one too. 2009 was horrible. This is a great car, but it has been tricky getting it to work.”

Hamilton feels his ability to get “a little bit more” out of the car was key to his and the team’s success.

“Often if you go the wrong [set-up] direction you don’t even get to the car’s potential – the car just won’t allow you to squeeze out the extra bit,” Hamilton said.

“Understanding the car has really allowed me to get the potential, and a little bit more, so even in the races where we’ve struggled we’ve come out with more than we’d hoped.”

Hamilton apologises after Snapchat video

Date published: December 27 2017

Four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton took to Twitter on Boxing Day to apologise after he came under fire for chastising his young nephew for wearing a princess dress.

It all started with a bit of Christmas Day fun when he posted a Snapchat video, which has since been deleted, with his nephew to his 5.7 million followers.

In the video the F1 driver says: “I’m so sad right now. Look at my nephew.”

He then turns to the child and asks: “Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas?”

When the reply is yes, Hamilton responds: “Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas? Boys don’t wear princess dresses!”

While Hamilton thought he was having a bit of fun, the video was met with outrage and his social media accounts were flooded by criticism.

Hamilton, though, apologised in a series of Tweets on Boxing Day.

Hamilton: Bottas ‘will keep me on my toes’

Date published: December 23 2017

Lewis Hamilton is ready to face a new and improved Valtteri Bottas in 2018 and feels his team-mate has adapted well to life at Mercedes.

Bottas secured the first three victories of his Formula 1 career after moving from Williams ahead of the 2017 season and went on to finish third in the World Championship.

The Finn suffered dips in form along the way but Hamilton, who will be vying for a fifth title in 2018, believes Bottas will put up a more sustained challenge next season.

“Valtteri’s been an amazing team-mate this year,” said Hamilton.

“It’s not easy at all to go to a team for the first year, particularly as you already had plans to be somewhere else at the beginning of the year.

“You then have a very short period of time to get used to a new team, learn the new systems, learn the tools which you’ll use during the year.

“It takes a long time to learn how to manipulate the car to help extract your performance, so he hit the ground pretty fast at the beginning of the year.

“Then another part of it is the pressures of fighting for a World Championship is not the easiest of things.

“There are drivers who have sustained a little bit then fallen back and never recovered from that mental fight that you have.

“He’s very strong minded and he came back and finished up strong so I anticipate he’s going to be stronger next year, so I’m going to make sure I’m on my toes.”