Lewis Hamilton is eyeing a record eighth world title as the 2021 F1 season moves into its final two rounds. The Mercedes driver trails championship leader Max Verstappen, a first-time title contender, by just eight points.
Hamilton, 36, has shown tremendous form at the last two races in Brazil and Qatar, but the success hasn't come without its fair share of tedious planning and preparation.
A throwback photograph of the Briton tweeted by ESPN F1 shows the ace driver meticulously planning out his lap in Monza, Italy, as far back as 2006 when he raced for ART Grand Prix in the GP2 series.
Hamilton has kept up this rigorous discipline of strategic planning and goes the extra mile even today. At the Qatar Grand Prix last weekend, the driver said the new track posed a series of challenges for the team, which they overcame by working together until midnight before Saturday's qualifying session.
Hamilton revealed during his post-qualifying interview that he had been dealing with the effects of an upset stomach since Wednesday, and had to battle through it in all three practice sessions. Despite an aching stomach, the Briton outpaced Verstappen by nearly half a second on Saturday.
Asked about Friday's session, he said:
"Yesterday was a really difficult day for me. Thursday and Friday, I wasn't really feeling too well, so I really struggled throughout practice and was really off yesterday."
Lewis Hamilton has had an illustrous junior career
The boy from Stevenage has spent most of his life in karts and race cars, starting in 1993. Hamilton began karting seriously at the age of eight and two years later became the youngest driver to win the British cadet karting championship.
In 2003, the prodigiously talented driver won the Formula Renault 2.0 UK series. He bagged the GP2 championship in 2006, and made his F1 debut with McLaren the following year.
Hamilton is currently tied with the legendary Michael Schumacher for the most number of F1 titles.
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The penultimate round of the 2021 F1 season will be held in Saudi Arabia between December 3-5.