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Hamilton returns to F1 duty at private Mercedes test

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Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton completed his first laps of a Formula One car since February on Tuesday at a private Mercedes test at UK circuit Silverstone.

Mercedes booked a two-day test to gain an experience of the safety procedures for the behind-closed-doors races that will start the 2020 season in July. The season will start with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5.

After Valtteri Bottas drove the 2018 car on Tuesday, Hamilton took over on Wednesday. F1 teams are entitled to two filming days per season, in old machinery, and each limited to 100km -- equating to around 17 laps of the Silverstone circuit.

Mercedes shared photos of Hamilton wearing a face mask and sitting at a table with Mercedes mechanics while respecting social distancing guidelines. On both days, a Mercedes mechanic has worn a full face shield, as well as a face mask, while strapping Bottas or Hamilton into the cockpit, giving a glimpse of some of the things F1 fans can expect when racing resumes next month.

Hamilton is looking for a record-equaling seventh world championship in 2020. Achieving that feat would move him level with Michael Schumacher's tally of seven titles.