An unwell Lewis Hamilton revealed Mercedes had made contingency plans to replace him with another driver if he was too ill to take part in qualifying.
He said the concern over his condition was sufficient for Mercedes to ensure they could call on the services of a replacement if needed.
“We prepped just in case I wasn’t able to do the session. I did the practice and we were prepared to be able to put the second driver in, worst-case scenario.”
Esteban Ocon is the team’s official reserve driver. However Hamilton proved fit enough to compete and took pole position for tomorrow’s race.
“It was a relatively straightforward session,” he said. “Very clean. The team did a great job in terms of timings and getting us out at the right times.”
Although Ferrari swept all three practice sessions, Hamilton said he could have challenged them for pole position even if they hadn’t suffered technical problems.
“As we saw both Ferraris drop out obviously that made it a little bit different in terms of the battle that we had at the end,” he said. “Nonetheless I think I had pretty good pace, I think it would have been pretty close between myself and Leclerc, who knows.
“They were pretty quick all weekend. But I was really happy with the laps I’d done, particularly in Q2 onwards.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2019 F1 season
- McLaren Racing reports reduced £71 million loss in 2019
- Kvyat: Hockenheim podium last year was “my biggest achievement” so far
- How the FIA’s new encrypted fuel flow meter targets Ferrari’s suspected ‘aliasing’ trick
- “He smashed my office door”: 23 must-see moments from ‘Drive to Survive’ season two
- ‘I should have done a better job. There’s things that I know I can do better’