Lewis Hamilton has revealed why he has been wearing a mask again at F1 race weekends.
The paddock eased coronavirus restrictions some months ago, with the sport mostly returning to normality after putting various measures in place during the height of the pandemic.
However, Hamilton has been seen sporting a mask during press conferences at recent Grands Prix.
Hamilton: Wearing a mask is a personal choice
With infection rates rising in certain places, the seven-time World Champion – who was forced to miss the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19 – has opted to wear a mask again.
When asked whether he felt that the sport had relaxed restrictions too quickly, Hamilton denied that this was the case.
"No, this is personal choice," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com, of his decision to wear a mask.
"I just noticed a lot of people around me are getting sick, and [I] definitely don't want to get sick again. I've already experienced it twice.
"But just I notice a lot of people around me, a lot of my friends messaging me [saying] that they've got COVID, and some of them are much worse than others.
"And obviously I didn't have Bono [engineer Pete Bonnington] with me this weekend. No one's wearing a mask so I'm definitely wearing my mask."
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"I urge people to do what they want to do"
Hamilton acknowledges that the matter of wearing a mask is a personal choice, but has issued a reminder of his reasons for wanting to wear one.
"I urge people to do what they want to do, and it's your health at the end of the day," the Mercedes driver continued.
"But I want to go home healthy. I want to be able to get up and train and do the things I love doing.
"And I try, if I can, to keep the people that I love around me also safe when I can, when I'm around them. So yeah, that's it."
Hamilton is not the only driver who has been forced to miss a race due to testing positive for coronavirus, with the likes of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll having also experienced this.
However, so far in 2022, this has only happened once, with Sebastian Vettel sitting out the first two Grands Prix of the campaign due to the virus.
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