Lewis Hamilton forced on ‘extreme diet’ as Mercedes ace opens up on F1 break

Lewis Hamilton shows off his impressive surfing skills

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was forced to go on an “extreme diet” ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix after eating too much during the F1 summer break. The Mercedes ace has won a joint-record seven world titles but has fallen well down the pecking order since new FIA regulations were introduced at the start of last year.

Hamilton dominated the sport between 2014 and 2020 as he won six F1 championships in seven years. But his reign at the top came to an end after Max Verstappen beat him to the title following a final-lap shootout at the last race of the 2021 season.

Verstappen and Red Bull have since left Hamilton in their wake, with the Dutchman on course to land his third consecutive title this season. And Hamilton is struggling just to secure regular podium finishes.

The Stevenage-born superstar has finished in the top three on four occasions this year and came second in Australia and Spain. But he could only muster a sixth-place finish at the Zandvoort circuit on Sunday after enjoying some time away from the track.

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And Hamilton has revealed he needed to lose weight quickly ahead of the Netherlands race. “I ate so much food,” Hamilton explained in the aftermath of the Dutch Grand Prix. “My weight has to be between 73 and 74 kilos, and I was almost 77 kilos on Saturday. So I had to go on an extreme diet these past days.”

Hamilton visited Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Namibia during the summer break and also caught up with family in Los Angeles. And the 38-year-old can be forgiven for piling on the pounds with his attentions temporarily diverted away from the F1 track.

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“I did the first week in LA with my niece and nephew,” Hamilton added. “It was really sunny, it was beautiful. I was mostly working while I was out there. And then I did some hiking in the mountains. And then I had a real unplugged rest in the sun so I got a really good tan.

“And otherwise [I was] just competing with my niece and nephew every day, running and jumping in the ocean. My niece, she just wants to do cannonballs all the time – just cannonball, cannonball, cannonball.”

Hamilton is currently fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, 183 points behind runaway leader Verstappen, but will be looking to get back on the podium at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

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