Dubai: Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is still feeling the after-effects of his recent bout of coronavirus as he prepares for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who will mark his seventh world crown as the curtain comes down on the season in the UAE, tested positive for COVID-19 after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago and was forced to miss the Sakhir GP last week — the first time in his career he has missed an F1 race.
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Hamilton said he is still feeling side effects, including lower energy levels than before.
“I still have some feelings in my lungs, but I would drive if one of my arms were hanging off,” he said. “That’s what we do as racing drivers. It won’t be the easiest race but I will manage,” he said. “One of the symptoms is it really drains you. I have been trying to sleep as much as I can, but recharging is not as easy as it has been in the past.”
Hamilton could only qualify third on Saturday for the Abu Dhabi race, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. He also admitted he has lost weight during his illness.
“I am not 100 per cent the same as I was last time I raced,” he said. “But it is in no way going to get in the way of me giving it my all.”