This may hurt, says Hamilton as F1 gets back on track | Reuters

By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton is expecting to feel the pain, no matter how much he has worked out over the winter break, when Formula One’s first pre-season test starts on Monday.

Aching backs and stiff necks are likely to keep the team physios busy as drivers get up to speed at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya and begin to rack up the miles in the shiny new cars.

The gym work and outdoor training, and the kilos of extra muscle added to cope with new regulations bringing significantly faster cornering speeds and greater G-forces, will be put to the test over four days this week.

“After the first day I’ll know exactly where I’m weak,” Hamilton told reporters at the launch of his Mercedes team’s W08 car at Silverstone on Thursday.

“Whoever it is, it doesn’t matter how fit you are and how hard you trained. You get in that car and it beats the crap out of you. It just does,” added the 32-year-old Briton. “There’s just no simulation for it.

“So whether you feel it in the neck — there’ll be a muscle you didn’t even know you had, deep down under your rib cage, and you’re like ‘what the hell?’ — through those testing days you figure those weak areas out.”

Hamilton will be in the car on Monday afternoon, with new team mate Valtteri Bottas taking care of the morning laps after replacing retired world champion Nico Rosberg.

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