Beefed-up Hamilton binged on food ahead of 6th F1 title bid

Hungry for more success, Lewis Hamilton added a twist to offseason preparations before launching his quest for a sixth Formula One world championship.

He binged on snack food. Less for the taste of it, more for the effect it would bring.

Eating a belly-full first and then doing extra hard workouts to turn that needless excess fat into muscle meant Hamilton returned to the track looking bigger than ever.

Bigger neck, bigger upper body, bigger arms.

He wasn't the only F1 driver to relax the diets and beef up the body after a rule change took away an advantage for being lighter.

"Over the winter and in the break, I could eat whatever I wanted, so pancakes and Cheetos, all that stuff. But I stayed very active," Hamilton said during preseason testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. "For the last month or so I have been pretty clean. My body fat is going down and you target more efficient defined muscle. I am not trying to be the Hulk . It takes time to put on muscle in the right way, but it has been great to eat bigger portions."

Heavier drivers had complained about the previous F1 regulations, which counted the driver's weight against the car.

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Lewis Hamilton
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Lewis Hamilton
Le Champion du monde en titre de Formule 1, Lewis Hamilton, a déclaré qu'il "construisait" son "rêve" d'un premier test en MotoGP, acceptant le fait qu'il devait encore accumuler du roulage à moto.
Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1's frontrunners only have half-a-second's advantage over the midfield, and thinks the leading teams from that group could achieve bigger results this season
Le Champion du monde en titre de Formule 1, Lewis Hamilton, a déclaré qu'il "construisait" son "rêve" d'un premier test en MotoGP, acceptant le fait qu'il devait encore accumuler du roulage à moto.
DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain (5x F1 World Champion) during the MotoGP of Qatar - Qualifying at Losail Circuit on March 09, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain (5x F1 World Champion) during the MotoGP of Qatar - Qualifying at Losail Circuit on March 09, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
British driver Lewis Hamilton is pictured in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit at Losail track in Doha on March 9, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
British driver Lewis Hamilton is pictured in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit at Losail track in Doha on March 9, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
British driver Lewis Hamilton (C) is pictured in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit at Losail track in Doha on March 9, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
British driver Lewis Hamilton is pictured in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit at Losail track in Doha on March 9, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton is seen, outside Stella McCartney, during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020, on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton is seen, outside Stella McCartney, during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020, on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton attends the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton attends the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton and Oprah Winfrey attend the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton and Stella McCartney pose after the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
1st March 2019, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; Formula One Testing Day 8; Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes Team at the garage during the winter test at the circuit of Catalunya (photo by Pablo Guillen/Action Plus via Getty Images)
1st March 2019, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; Formula One Testing Day 8; Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes Team leaves the hospitality unit yo go the garage during the winter test at the circuit of Catalunya (photo by Pablo Guillen/Action Plus via Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton during the Formula 1 test in Barcelona, on 01st March 2019, in Barcelona, Spain. -- (Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton during the Formula 1 test in Barcelona, on 01st March 2019, in Barcelona, Spain. -- (Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 during day four of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 01, 2019 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 during day four of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 01, 2019 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 01: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team during day four of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2019 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain with 44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport W10 portrait during the Formula 1 2019 Pre-Season Tests at Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain on March 1. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN - 2019/02/28: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team during day seven of F1 Winter Testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN - 2019/02/28: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team during day seven of F1 Winter Testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN - 2019/02/28: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during day seven of F1 Winter Testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The regulations for 2019 say that a driver's weight will be considered separately from the car. The driver and the car seat now must weigh a minimum of 80 kilograms (176 pounds). It means teams are obligated to add ballast inside the cockpit if the driver is too light.

The 34-year-old Hamilton, who is listed by the Mercedes website as weighing 150 pounds, said that he had added more than four pounds of muscle through various training regimes.

"I feel stronger than I've been in a long time," said Hamilton, who switched to a vegan diet two years ago. "I worked with different people a few days on and a few days off just to pick up new technique. I worked with a vegan trainer, who has been vegan his whole life and (is) a very ripped individual, and a couple of athletes."

Mercedes didn't reveal the details of Hamilton's training program but team principal Toto Wolff said the star driver is "stronger than before and in a super mental state; the best I have seen so far."

Other drivers have also piled on the pounds.

"I may have overdone it!" Frenchman Romain Grosjean said. "I've put quite a fair bit of muscle on. I just need to sweat off a little bit for the first race but we're going to be all right."

More muscle helps drivers handle the physical demands of racing, such as dealing with the G-force pressing on them when they steer their one-seaters through hairpin curves at hair-raising speeds.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas spent time training in the frozen north of his native Finland, where he mixed cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities with in-the-gym workouts. They even included neck-strengthening exercises where he would do sit ups sideways while wearing a racing helmet.

Bottas applauded the rule change, saying it also improves the overall health of race drivers.

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F1 car releases 2019
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F1 car releases 2019
McLaren
McLaren
Unveiling of the new livery during the Williams 2019 livery launch at Williams Conference Centre, Grove.
Unveiling of the new livery FW42 with drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica during the Williams 2019 livery launch at Williams Conference Centre, Grove.
Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean, Rich Energy CEO William Storey and Team Principal Guenther Steiner during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
Rich Energy Livery during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
A general view of the new livery during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean, Rich Energy CEO William Storey and Team Principal Guenther Steiner during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Kimi Raikkonen Fiorano 14-02-2019 First run for a filming day of the Sauber Alfa Romeo Formula 1 2019 . Sauber has run with a camouflage of the official livery Photo Federico Basile / Insidefoto /Sipa USA
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
SportPesa Racing Point's Formula One livery is unveiled at the 2019 Canadian International Auto show, on February 13, 2019. - SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team is the team formerly know as Force India. (Photo by Cole BURSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team announce their new title partner, Liverpool, UK-based SportPesa at the Canadian International Motorshow on February 13, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Glen Dunbar via Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team /Handout)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team announce their new title partner, Liverpool, UK-based SportPesa at the Canadian International Motorshow on February 13, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Glen Dunbar via Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team /Handout)
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Daniel Ricciardo during the Renault F1 Team 2019 season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre, Oxford.
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Daniel Ricciardo during the Renault F1 Team 2019 season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre, Oxford.
A picture shows the Renault Sport F1 RS19 car during the 2019 Renault Formula One team season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre in Enstone, northwest of Oxford, on February 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture shows the Renault Sport F1 RS19 car during the 2019 Renault Formula One team season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre in Enstone, northwest of Oxford, on February 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso driving the (26) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda on track during the filming day on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Scuderia Toro Rosso driving the (23) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda on track during the filming day on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso (L), Alexander Albon of Thailand and Scuderia Toro Rosso (R) seen during the filming day ( on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
There was once a time when Formula One launches went heavy on kitschy glamour, with Benetton launching a car in the middle of Venice’s Piazza San Marco and McLaren famously turning their 1997 event into a miniature Spice Girls concert.
Lewis Hamilton's ride for 2019.
Lewis Hamilton's ride for 2019.
Articolo aggiornato alle ore 12,30 del 15 febbraio 2019.Si chiama SF 90 per rendere omaggio ai 90 anni della Scuderia (nata nel 1929), la prima monoposto Ferrari nata sotto la presidenza di John Elkann. La Rossa è stata svelata in anteprima mondiale questa mattina a Maranello in attesa dei primi test in programma lunedì sul circuito di Montmelò a Barcellona. Viene cosi'' abbandonata la vecchia numerazione (SF 71H nel 2018) della gestione precedente.Presenti all'evento "essere Ferrari", oltre al presidente, l'amministratore delegato della Ferrari, Louis Camilleri, il team principal, Mattia Binotto, i piloti ufficiali Sebastian Vettel e Charles Leclerc e Piero Ferrari, figlio di Enzo 'Il Drake' il fondatore della Casa di Maranello.Rosso meno acceso rispetto alle tinte precedenti e migliore aerodinamica: cosi' appare la nuova monoposto Ferrari SF 90 svelata questa mattina a Maranello. Un 'vestito' nuovo per la prima Ferrari 'firmata' John Elkann e Mattia Binotto cucito su misura per adattarsi ai cambiamenti regolamentari sull'aerodinamica che semplificano il numero degli elementi. Una monoposto, dunque, più essenziale che rappresenta un'evoluzione rispetto alla vettura dello scorso anno.Per la nuova Ferrari c'è una serie negativa da interrompere: 11 anni senza un titolo mondiale, l'ultimo vinto nel 2007 con Kimi Raikkonen. Il primo banco di prova sarà a Melbourne il prossimo 17 marzo con il Gran Premio di Australia. La Rossa di Maranello dovrà affrontare avversarie 'agguerrite' prima fra tutte la temibile Mercedes W10 o la Red Bull-Honda. Caratteristiche tecnicheLa SF90 (sigla di progetto 670) è la sessantacinquesima monoposto realizzata dalla Ferrari per il campionato del mondo di Formula 1. La vettura è realizzata nel rispetto dei nuovi regolamenti che impongono diverse modifiche rispetto alle monoposto del 2018. Tra le più evidenti quelle alle ali anteriori e posteriori. L'ala anteriore è più larga e più semplice nei suoi profili aerodinamici, quella posteriore è più larga e alta.I deviatori di flusso sulle fiancate sono stati ridotti in altezza, mentre le prese d'aria dei freni anteriori sono state semplificate. Il peso complessivo della vettura sale a 743 chilogrammi, con il pilota e suo equipaggiamento che devono obbligatoriamente pesarne 80. La quantità di carburante disponibile per la gara e' salita da 105 a 110 kg. La SF90 è la sesta vettura della generazione ibrida della Formula 1 iniziata nel 2014. "Sono orgoglioso di lavorare in questo team per portare avanti il sogno di Enzo Ferrari. Per questo siamo qui. Dobbiamo lavorare al meglio": lo ha detto il team principal e managing director, Mattia Binotto, durante la presentazione a Maranello (Modena) della nuova monoposto Ferrari. Il responsabile della gestione sportiva della Rossa ha parlato di un "grande orgoglio e del dovere di preservare la tradizione della scuderia e del nostro fondatore. Questa è la nostra missione"."Non ho la tuta e non posso mettermi nell'abitacolo. Non vedo l'ora di partire e di salire sull'auto", ha commentato Sebastian Vettel. "Come squadra siamo sulla strada giusta speriamo di continuare a migliorare".
Imagen facilitada, este viernes, por el departamento de prensa de Ferrari que muestra el SF90, el nuevo monoplaza con el que competirán el alemán Sebastian Vettel y el monegasco Charles Leclerc en el Mundial de 2019 de la Fórmula Uno. EFE/ Ferrari Press Office
Imagen facilitada, este viernes, por el departamento de prensa de Ferrari que muestra el SF90, el nuevo monoplaza con el que competirán el alemán Sebastian Vettel y el monegasco Charles Leclerc en el Mundial de 2019 de la Fórmula Uno. EFE
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"I think the regulation is good, especially for the taller drivers it makes life a bit easier," Bottas said. "Many drivers had to be below our natural weight and it is very easy to get ill or sick. This is the first winter for many years that I didn't get any flu or any sickness."

The other rule changes include revamped designs for front and rear wings to favor overtaking, and the introduction of new helmets and gloves. Fuel limits have been increased to reduce the need for drivers to cautiously manage their tanks.

The new season starts Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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