Maria Sharapova shares why friend Lewis Hamilton has ‘so much energy drained’

Tennis icon Maria Sharapova shares a close friendship with Lewis Hamilton, even visiting him on the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Tennis legend Maria Sharapova has expressed her amazement that F1 drivers are able to function and perform at such a high level in the face of their considerable sponsor and media duties. The 36-year-old experienced the pressures facing the grid after following close friend Lewis Hamilton during the Miami Grand Prix weekend.

In an effort to win his first Grand Prix in two years, the seven-time world champion has been putting in a lot of effort both individually and as a member of the team. Mercedes has had an incredibly challenging couple of seasons following their 2021 Constructors’ Championship victory.

Hamilton’s duties at the racetrack every race weekend are augmented by photo shoots and personal appearances he does as part of sponsorship agreements with companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, IWC, and Monster Energy. These are on top of the requirements from Mercedes’ sponsor and his mandatory media duties for Formula One.

The tennis legend was asked if her sport was the most mentally taxing for athletes while she and Dax Shepard were talking about the ups and downs of a career in tennis on the Armchair Expert podcast.

Sharapova discussed the mental strains that tennis players face before shifting her focus to motorsports and saying, “At Formula One, I mean, what Lewis is doing ahead of a race.” When I visited some of his sponsor responsibilities while I was in Miami, I was astounded by the sheer volume of events and interviews.

How do you want to go about your work when you wake up after that? When your energy is so low, how can you beat someone? I believe it simply highlights how exceptional it is when someone shines and wins repeatedly considering everything else they have also had to handle.

This season, there has also been some criticism directed at the schedule itself. After a record-breaking 22 races, the drivers and team members were clearly worn out in Abu Dhabi. Next year, the grid will be pushed to its limit with 24 races.

“People [are] in the engineers’ office just really struggling with the constant timezone shifts, the body not knowing where you are, eating at different times, staying in different hotels, different environments, and different climates,” said George Russell, a teammate of Hamilton, in a public statement criticizing the traffic during race weekend. The body is becoming disoriented.

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