Hamilton expects physical form to 'tail off' at some point

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Lewis Hamilton feels "fitter than ever" on the eve of his 14th season of F1, but the six-time world champion knows that his physical form will taper off at some point in the future.

At 35, Hamilton will be the second oldest driver on the grid this season behind veteran Kimi Raikkonen.

But with 22-year-old young guns Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc now regularly snapping at Hamilton's heels and determined to overthrow F1's mega star, age could sooner or later become a factor for the Briton.

However, for now, the Mercedes driver feels he's at the top of his game in both the physical and mental departments.

"I need to start paying Kimi to stay so I’m not the oldest," joked Hamilton in an interview with GQ Hype.

"Luckily, I think he’s going to keep going. I don’t feel old at all. I feel as young as ever. I feel fit, fitter than ever.

"Everything just works better now, with the experience I have. I don’t even think it’s harder to stay physically in shape, although I’m sure that will inevitably tail off at some point."

Hamilton puts in the necessary hours at the gym during his pre-season preparations and diligently maintains his fitness during the year.

But the Mercedes stalwart admits that he doesn't indulge in physical workouts on race weekends, contrary to the regimen followed by the great Michael Schumacher whose personal workout equipment often followed the F1 legend from circuit to circuit.

"It’s different for all of us," explained Hamilton. "What would work for Michael won’t work for me. You always have to find your own way.

"You can easily overload yourself mentally and the mental side is key. That’s something I’ve managed to master and the physical side is still very key, too.

"The cars are getting faster and faster and we’re breaking records. That means the cars are getting more physical, with the G load we have.

"Bringing a gym to a track doesn’t work for me. I don’t train during race weekends, it doesn’t serve me well, I’ve tried in the past.

"It’s all about having 100 per cent energy through the race weekend for me. It’s not that one does more than the other. It’s about how you balance it."

Much has been written about Hamilton's vegan diet, the merits of which he insists have changed his life.

"Ultimately, you want to feel great," he said. "You want to have energy, to be consistent.

You don’t want to have the big oscillations and highs and lows in your energy levels. Veganism has eradicated that.

"But I’m always looking at how I can improve. Can my eyesight be better? Can my reactions be improved? Are there new ways of testing my reactions?

The ergonomics in the car... how can I make everything simpler? There’s a multitude of things and I’m always trying to raise the bar.

"One of the things was my sleeping pattern and not feeling right in the stomach. Your gut is your second brain.

"We’re taught to drink milk and eat meat for protein and I started looking into other areas of research around all this.

"The first thing was, what’s happening to the animals? Secondly, the impact it can have on your body. That’s a free advantage I’m going to take. If no one else wants it, well that’s their loss."

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