Piano lessons and a serious workout: Hamilton’s pre-season preparations

Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton shows off his hair on Instagram

We all need some downtime from work.

But how do you unwind when you’re a six-time Formula 1 champion and one of the most famous people in the world?

Lewis Hamilton is gearing up for possibly the biggest season of his career in 2020.

The Mercedes man can equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles this season.

He can also break some other records along the way – including most race wins, most podiums and most wins with the same team.

As the opening race of the season in Australia this weekend draws closer, BBC Sport looks at what Hamilton got up to on his winter break…

Fighting machine

At the age of 35, Hamilton is hardly pulling out his pipe and slippers.

But when you’re up against drivers that look like they haven’t even started shaving yet, the demands of the sport become harder and harder to deal with.

With rivals like McLaren’s Lando Norris barely out of their teens, Hamilton seems happy to push himself to the limit, both physically and mentally, in a bid to become a seven-time world champion.

And the results? Well… they speak for themselves.

“I’ve managed to push further and be fitter and stronger than the years before, which I’m so happy about.” Hamilton wrote.

The rest of the grid take note.

Dad and lad

Going on holiday is great.

Going on holiday and taking your old man with you? Even better.

Father and son bonding was on the cards during the winter break for Hamilton and his dad Anthony.

The pair spent quality time together jetting around the globe, taking part in a spot of Carpool Karaoke-style singing to Hamilton’s good mate, Justin Bieber.

“My dad and I haven’t had the easiest of relationships,” Hamilton posted on Twitter.

“We were so immersed in the drive to succeed we lost sight of what was most important, our relationship.

“This winter break I asked my dad to come visit me so we could spend some time together, just us.

“We hadn’t done this before so to finally get to spend some quality time with him has brought me so much happiness.”

Right in the feels, that one.

Tickle the ivories

Everybody needs a hobby – even the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time.

When you’re the best in your chosen field, sometimes it’s a novelty to be a bit rubbish at something else.

It’s not like Hamilton is stumbling over the beginners’ version of chopsticks on the piano – far from it.

But there’s no harm in pulling in the big guns to help you learn and improve.

The Mercedes man had a private lesson with Lang Lang, a Chinese concert pianist who could perform Liszt’s ‘La Campanella’ with his eyes closed.

But just how many bars of Hamilton playing Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ did Lang Lang have to listen to?

Twitter comeback

Instagram has been the social media platform of choice for Hamilton for quite a while now.

The Briton even did a 20-minute Instagram live extravaganza last season, taking fans on a guided tour of his motorhome after a qualifying session.

His Twitter account was updated – but maybe not with the same love and attention the other social media app has received.

Then the world champion announced he was going to start using Twitter more, and that folks should come on over and say hello.

So Mercedes mega fan Nurul did just that…

And Hamilton replied.

Since then, the 35-year-old has responded to an army of L44 diehards, all eager to have a little interaction with an F1 icon.

Lewis Hamilton responds "I'm here" to a fan who asks if he was on Twitter right now

When Lewis met Harry

Hamilton took a record sixth British Grand Prix victory in 2019, making him the undisputed king of Silverstone.

So, what better way to celebrate that achievement than spending an afternoon with royalty opening the new Silverstone Experience Centre.

The six-time world champion gave Prince Harry the VIP treatment around the British motor racing museum at the Northamptonshire circuit.

“[Silverstone Experience Centre’s] mission is to inspire the next generation of kids, in engineering, marshals, mechanics,” posted Hamilton.

“This is something I am really passionate about, helping the next generation.”

Get Archie Mountbatten-Windsor down the go-kart track with Lewis as soon as he’s old enough.

Sunday’s Australian GP is live on 5 live and the BBC Sport website at 05:10 GMT

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