Hamilton braced for 'lonely, uninspiring' life in F1's new world

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton begins his title defence Sunday

Lewis Hamilton will begin his bid for a record-equalling seventh Formula One world title, feeling "lonely and uninspired".

The 35-year-old Briton gets the season underway in Austria on July 5 after the world championship endured a pre-coronavirus shutdown false start in Australia in March.

However, strict health protocols mean that there will be no fans at the races, a factor that Hamilton understands but won't particularly enjoy.

"Driving past empty stands is going to be not too inspiring, it's going to be quite lonely," he said in a video posted online by his Mercedes team.

"We are preparing the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season, I think, that Formula 1 and all us have experienced with the difficult times that were facing, and the changes that we have to make in order to operate."

Hamilton needs one more world title to equal the record of seven set by Michael Schumacher.

Feeling lonely: Lewis Hamilton