Hamilton: Disrupted 2020 season to be 'most difficult' F1 has faced

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Lewis Hamilton expects the upcoming Formula 1 season to be the "most difficult" the sport has faced.

Seven months after the last race in Abu Dhabi and 113 days since the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled at the last minute, F1 will finally return to action in Austria this weekend.

However, with the cloud of coronavirus still hanging over the world, it will be a new reality that the season starts under with teams split into 'bubbles' and several of the usual sights not happening such as the post-race podium.

“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 of us have experienced with the difficult times that we're facing and the changes that we have to make in order to operate,” Hamilton said recently in a Mercedes video.

Mercedes AMG F1 Lewis Hamilton

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Because of the latest start to a season in F1 history, races are set to be fewer but come thicker and faster with the first nine GP's expected in just 11 weeks.

“One of the hardest challenges is staying consistent,” he said speaking to sponsor Petronas.

“We’ve normally got 20 to 22 races, that is a long time. You generally have more gaps. We’ve had time to take a breather and get back at it.

“This year is slightly different. We’re going to be attacking a lot more focused groups of races. So, the performance at each of those races is even more crucial, being healthy, pulling out every single lap.

“Every moment is going to count even more. It’s going to be magnified.

“Being diligent in terms of process, how much you travel, where you’re staying, how much sleep you’re getting, the diet you’re having, how much energy you let out and recovery, all these different things.

“And the process you go through getting your mind in the right space, your team in the right space, through the weekend, is a tough one.”

Another aspect that won't be there for Hamilton to draw on is the crowds, with most races now expected to be behind closed doors.

"We’re going to miss you at the races, I’m going to miss seeing you guys at the races," he added.

“Driving past empty stands is going to be not too inspiring, it’s going to be quite lonely, but we’ll know that you guys are still there with us in spirit, so please keep your fingers crossed for us. Stay positive.”