Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he has come back from his summer break a completely new man after spending some time travelling across Africa.
The seven-time champion had a tricky winter ahead of the new season after being cruelly denied his eighth crown at last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He returned after nearly two months of social media absence, and was raring to go for the new year having considered whether he wanted to continue in the pinnacle of motorsport.
However, Hamilton has not been in title contention so far this season since the turn of the new technical regulations which brought about the return of ground effect aerodynamics.
Having managed a podium finish in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, team-mate George Russell out-raced him in the following seven as the 103-time race winner tried to click with a misbehaving W13 car.
During that time, the 37-year-old endured only his second finish outside the top 10 in nine years in Imola, but as they say, form is temporary, but class is permanent.
Hamilton has responded with five consecutive podium finishes, one of which might have been a win in Silverstone had things gone his way.
After finishing second at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver headed to Africa, where he met some tribes, swam in rivers, spent time with some fans, watched some beautiful wildlife, and hiked.
His time away was so nice, in fact, that he has come back an entirely different person to the one that left Budapest at the beginning of August.
“These past two weeks have been some of the best days of my entire life,” he said on Instagram after posting some pictures of his magical trip.
“I’m not the same man I was before this trip, all the beauty, love, and peacefulness I experienced has me feeling fully transformed.
“No amount of photos could capture how I’m feeling now and what I’m trying to say.
“Just know, where words fall short emotions run deep. I connected with my roots and my history and I feel my ancestors with me now stronger than I ever have before.
“Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania thank you. To the people here, the nature and the wildlife thank you. We were welcomed to each beautiful place we visited.
“We were treated like family. To my brothers who joined me on this journey, thank you. I know we’ll be talking about this forever.”
Hamilton’s lightning form has helped Mercedes close the gap to Ferrari to just 30 points in the Constructors’ Standings.
He has also reduced the deficit to fifth-placed Carlos Sainz to 10 points, and there is a feeling in the paddock that the Silver Arrows could be in contention to win races in the latter part of the 2022 season.