Lewis Hamilton warms up for new F1 season in freezing Finland
PUBLISHED: 07:44 14 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:56 26 October 2009
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton has spent five days warming up for the 2009 Formula 1 season in freezing Finland. The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes hero from Tewin, team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett have
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton has spent five days warming up for the 2009 Formula 1 season in freezing Finland.
The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes hero from Tewin, team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett have returned from a five-day pre-season winter training camp at the Kuortane Sports Institute in western Finland.
The human performance partner of McLaren Mercedes, Kuortane has helped train some of the world's top athletes, including Finland's Olympic hopefuls, for more than 40 years.
The training camp also acted as a useful team-building exercise, with mechanics and engineers joining the drivers for group exercises and tests at the Kuortane campus.
Before flying to Scandinavia, Hamilton said: "Travelling to Finland for our winter training camp is one of the best weeks of the year for me.
"It feels like you're miles from anywhere and totally cut off from the outside world.
"It allows me to focus solely on my training, which is great.
"It's certainly not an easy week. Finland in the winter is cold and icy and we're pushed hard for day after day.
"We spend the first part of the week doing tests to monitor our core strength and flexibility and spend the rest of the time building on specific exercises that will help us once we're back in the car."
The Herts-born Formula 1 racer won the world title in dramatic fashion in Sao Paulo last month and is raring to get behind the wheel again.
"After Brazil, it's good to get a proper rest because it's the one time of the year when you can relax your training a little," said Hamilton.
"But Finland is when it all starts again in earnest.
"Brazil already seems a long time ago and I'm now focusing 100 per cent on 2009.
"I had my seat-fitting at the McLaren Technology Centre and while the plan at the moment is to start testing in January, I'm really keen to get going."
After attending the Race of Champions at Wembley in London and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Liverpool today (Sunday), Hamilton intends to take a short break to recharge his batteries.
"Before Christmas, I plan to take a holiday and return fresh and positive to kick-start our winter test programme with the MP4-24," said Hamilton.
"I've already had a close look at the new car and the engineers have explained the philosophy behind it and just how different things will be next year.
"I've been watching testing with a lot of interest.
"I think the new cars will make next year's championship wide open and I'm really looking forward to tackling the new regulations.
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