Hamilton mixes it up to prepare for F1 title tilt

MELBOURNE • Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton dropped his personal trainer in December as part of a more disciplined approach to a season, in which he wants to win "more than ever before".

The three-time world champion set his own training regimen in an attempt to prove to himself that he had the motivation to win back the title that he surrendered last year.

Many suggested that the Briton's celebrity lifestyle had proved a distraction and that he lost focus during the summer break, which ultimately cost him in the battle with Nico Rosberg, his now-retired team-mate.

Hamilton appears to have taken strides to ensure that this does not happen again - and seasoned observers noted signs of greater maturity than in previous years at the season opener in Australia on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver finished second behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne but, despite not winning, he was in high spirits after the race.

"Definitely my discipline has gone up in terms of my training and how specific I am with my diet. Sleep - all of these different things," the 32-year-old said.

"Every year you try to improve but I have taken a good step this year. For example, I trained myself this year. That was a challenge I set myself: Can you have the motivation to do it yourself, get yourself ready and turn up? I have and I'm going to continue to work because there are some really tough races this year."

Hamilton has also tweaked other aspects of his approach. Instead of staying in Asia before the next race in Shanghai, as he has done in recent years, he said that he would be heading home to Monaco.

He said: "Usually I stay out in Asia and train in the hot weather but I'll get my head down, rest and make sure I come back fighting for the next race.

"I want to win for the team and the fans. I want to win the world championship more than ever before."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Hamilton mixes it up to prepare for F1 title tilt'. Print Edition | Subscribe