Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2020

Hamilton “grateful for my health and to be alive” after taking third on return

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he is relieved to have survived his bout of Covid-19 after returning to take third place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver said he was pleased with his performance despite qualifying and finishing behind team mate Valtteri Bottas.

“Considering the past couple of weeks I’ve had I’m really genuinely happy with the weekend,” said Hamilton. “It’s obviously not 100% as good as I actually would like.”

Hamilton, who said on Friday he hadn’t returned to full fitness since testing negative for Covid-19, described the grand prix as “a really hard race for me physically”.

“All year physically I’ve been fine but today I definitely wasn’t,” he said. “I’m just glad it’s over. Big thanks to the team for their continued support. It’s still a fantastic result to get two podium finishes for us.”

He admitted he did not expect he would be able to return for this weekend’s race after missing the Sakhir Grand Prix.

“Physically, massively. I don’t think I’ve ever been so blown,” he said. “My body’s not feeling pretty good.

“I look on the bright side, I made it through. I didn’t think any time last week that I’d be here and so I’m just really, really grateful for my health and to be alive.

“I’m looking forward to recovering over the next period of time we have and getting back into training and getting my body back to where I know it should be.”

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Hamilton “grateful for my health and to be alive” after taking third on return”

  1. I wish Lewis a well deserved rest and merry Christmas! And a new contract with Mercedes team for 2021 season, too!

  2. Yes it’s good to see Hamilton back but I really am not interested in any excuses about the effects of Covid hampering his performance. It has been well documented about the detrimental effects it has on physical performance and the time it takes to recover, even among the young and fit. He chose to return when he did.
    The drop in performance of the Mercedes though is something I’m sure will be looked into over the break.

    1. “Its good to see Hamilton back but…” blah blah blah.
      Lewis simply saying it how it is somehow a negative thing for you? Fair do’s. Think this says more about John than it does Lewis though.

      1. @deanr that is the reaction id expect from a gowk.

        1. I might be offended if I knew or cared what a GOWK was. You crack on though love 👍

  3. I could be wrong but it seems he is leaving?

    1. @macradar
      Well, he may be leaving some cash in Mercedes’ bank account, that’s for sure!

  4. Lewis clearly wasn’t 100% recovered. In the Sky interview, he said he was physically “destroyed” after the race.

    You do wonder whether George would have done a better job in Lewis’ car today.

    1. Maybe but he wants to keep his eye in. Until proven otherwise he is the best. Verstappen, LeClerc, Russel are the future but at this point in time they are just potential, it’s a big step to realise that potential. For some reason I don’t like Hamilton but that’s irrelevant as what drivers achieve is all that matters and cannot do anymore than Hamilton. It would become of the great sporting shocks if he does not win title 8 next season, I do think Merc could half his wages though, they hold all the cards.

    2. Maybe? Its not George’s seat though. He was only ever there because Lewis wasnt available. You know, the 7 x WDC.

  5. These sorts of statements are why Hamilton is disliked outside of the cockpit – it’s pretty unlikely covid would really be life-threatening for a young and fit individual like him. And he knows that too.

    He is trying to focus attention on his covid diagnosis, when a lot of us have known people who have *actually* been in life-threatening situations due to this horrible virus.

    1. WhatAnAss – that has to be the most inane and uneducated comment i have ever read on this site. And that is saying a lot.

      I guarantee it is comments like this why you are probably not liked much among your peers.

      All you have to do is pick up a newspaper, magazine, or simply turn on your tv, and read about life threatening ravaging effects of Covid-19 on many young fit people.

      And since you don’t know Lewis Hamilton personally, how then would you know the condition wasn’t life threatening to him?

      Sometimes, it is better for a person to keep quiet, than say something and let everyone know how intellectually bereft they are on an issue. This is one such case.

      1. Look at the numbers: COVID mainly kills 80+ year olds.
        Every year young people die of the flu, but the numbers are so small nobody ever mentions it. It’s the same with COVID. All the measures we are taking right now is to save some retired people. If the world population consisted solely of <65 year olds, we would just let it rage though the population.

        1. All the measures we are taking right now is to save some retired people

          You’re a disgrace @paeschli.

          1. +1, absolute disgraceful comment by Patrick. I’ve noticed a lot of disgusting and hateful comments on this site lately.

          2. No, Patrick is simply stating facts, not his problem that you can’t cope with that.

          3. @frasier maybe have a look at my quote again, and realise he isn’t just stating facts. Not my problem though if you can’t see that.

          4. John H, perhaps you should break down precisely what you have a problem with in Patricks reply, because I really don’t see it.

          5. Firstly @frasier for insinuating that older people have less value than younger people in a society. Secondly, the point that if indeed more old people get ill, hospitals reduce capacity for all kinds of things and that affects us all. If you still don’t get it, then sorry, I’m done.

          6. Indeed @canadianjosh. This reflects things everywhere at the moment. Makes me sad.

          7. @john-h well, OK, if you want to invent stuff that Patrick never said, but you imagine he said, then I see why you’ve got faux rage. I am BTW one of those older retired people you are desperately trying to suggest has been dismissed as of lesser value and your clarification seems to project what’s going through your own mind.

          8. “All the measures we are taking right now is to save some retired people”.

            I don’t know how it can be more clearer than that @frasier and I take issue with you suggesting I’m making something up. It makes no difference at all whether you are of that age or not, and no I don’t have faux rage. Been on this site 13 years, never had such an accusation before and I stand by what I said.

          9. It makes no difference at all whether you are of that age or not

            Wow, you’re really digging yourself a hole here John, might have been better if you had stopped at your last comment

          10. @frasier ok, why does it matter? Do you speak on behalf of all those that are old and retired? If so can I speak on behalf of all 40 year old men?

            This is so dumb.

        2. This is just wrong. Thankfully everyone knows this. Slow clap for Patrick👏

      2. ‘All you have to do is pick up a newspaper, magazine, or simply turn on your tv, and read about life threatening ravaging effects of Covid-19 on many young fit people’

        I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can do at this point. Because that’s all the media is bothered about nowadays of course you’ll get spoon fed every ounce of information about it. And not even that. You’re only fed one side of the story most of the time. I dislike the way Partick here makes insensitive statements about elderly people but the fact that young people are vastly not affected at all with most not even showing symptoms is true. I certainly never expected anything serious to happen and if it did he would be one of the very few (thankfully) outlier cases.

        Stick to social distancing and the guidelines until its safe to return to normal. Absolutely. But locking down whole countries? The WHO has strongly recommended not to do that but no one seems to be listening anymore.

        Some people are gonna be much wealthier at the end of this. And unfortunately a lot more a lot poorer.

        1. Adding to that I don’t like how people talk about this virus as if there’s a 50% survival rate. I’d prefer everyone to be realistic and optimistic.

          1. You are correct. The fatality statistics are vastly inflated and/or not recorded unilaterally. What you do not know is how this affected Lewis though, do you?

      3. @gigantor

        I know this virus is awful and I’m not trying to play it down. Simply if it was life threatening he wouldn’t be racing a week or so later after contracting it.

        I was in a covid red ward this week, I’m very aware of the effects of this virus. I don’t see why you need to personally attack me.

        My point is only that I think it’s pretty evident that Hamilton’s life wasn’t in danger from returning so quickly from this virus and for him to imply that it was is pretty disrespectful to people who have actually had their life threatened, I don’t see why he has to put the attention all on himself.

    2. Poor. This is someone that races on the edge more times than probably you and I will ever be. Take the Turkish GP for example, I think we can all agree that was at times dangerous, and we’ve seen the Grosjean incident the dangers of F1. With regards Covid, some get no symptoms, but for those that start to have breathing problems (like Lewis said that it had) it can be incredibly serious. I know Hamilton doesn’t do himself any favours sometimes, but I’m not sure this kind of accusation is warranted in this case BottAss.

    3. All I’m hearing from you is boo hoo, boo hoo. Have a bit of respect for your Champion! 🤪

  6. Sounds like he shouldn’t have been driving at all. It’s not right to drive if you’re not physically up to it, it’s not fair on the other drivers. We’ve about this the hard way in motorsports. Anyway, he got his 3rd place and showed he’s a fighter, but I’m not really sure it was worth it. Still, it’s got nothing to do with me!

  7. Fair play John! You state your complaints and then have the wherewithal to realise they dont matter. If only more people looked at this way! Kudos to you sir

    1. Meh…messed that up. Meant as reply to the above… but it doesn’t matter 🤪

    2. @deanr The core point that @john-h makes is completely correct. If Lewis is using language like “I’m just really, really grateful for my health and to be alive” then I think it is perfectly reasonable to infer that he shouldn’t have been driving.

      Operating dangerous machinery whilst possibly being unfit to do so is not a great look (this is on MB as well) and could have big implications if something went wrong. What makes this worse in my view is that there was nothing riding on it, I doubt he would have had his pay docked or impacted his contract position.

      You can argue that it doesn’t matter to me as I’m not impacted. However if this is not addressed then it will continue to happen and as we saw with Grosjean the consequences can be severe. F1 drivers need to be on top of their game.

      1. No, it just DOESNT MATTER. Full stop.

        1. @deanr Thank you for your expert dissection of the points I raised in good faith.

          You have truly managed to show me the error of my ways. In future it is clear I will have more success if I simply just state my opinion with no critical analysis or consideration for other people. This must be where I have been going wrong.

          Many thanks for the debating lesson! I am not sure I could have seen the light without your divine intervention.

    3. Indeed, @deanr. I don’t really know how he felt really of course, but the comments he makes here tend to suggest he shouldn’t have been driving. As I mentioned I think in an earlier article, the Toivonen case springs to mind when I think of drivers that are not fully fit being in charge of very rapid machines. F1 in 2020 isn’t exactly Group B granted, but we have seen with the Grosjean incident it does require complete focus not just when racing but also if the body needs to escape in an emergency. Still, season over, nothing happened, let’s see what 2021 brings!

  8. “Experiencing very mild symptoms” during Sakhir GP weekend (From Wolff)

    Felt “better than ever” on Tues/Wednesday.

    Not on pole? “Feeling the effects, not 100%”

    3rd in the race? “Physically destroyed”

    Didn’t look ill in or tired in the slighest. World champion attention seeker.

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