Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2020

Hamilton: Recovery wasn’t quick after “really unlucky” Covid infection

2021 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says it took him a while to return to full fitness after he contracted Covid-19 last year.

The Mercedes driver is one of six F1 racers who has contracted the coronavirus within the past 12 months. He missed the penultimate round of the season as a result.

Although Hamilton returned for the final race in Abu Dhabi, he admitted during the weekend he wasn’t back to full fitness.

Speaking at the launch of Mercedes’ new F1 car today Hamilton said he concentrated on getting back to full health during the off-season. He added it didn’t feel appropriate to post social media messages celebrating his new Mercedes contract while others were suffering the effects of the pandemic.

“The shut-off at the end of the year, taking time away from myself, wasn’t the easiest of breaks,” said Hamilton. “I continue to be conscious of what’s happening in the world and [so] posting pictures and celebrating things such as a contract being signed is kind of not really important to me.

“That’s not really a message that I want to be sending out to people who are losing families, who are losing relatives still, who are struggling in a pandemic. That’s just not where I’m at. So I just kind of kept to myself.

“I was focussed on my recovery, because it wasn’t a quick situation, and getting myself back to full strength. And getting the deal done and working on some personal relationships that I have.”

Mercedes W12, 2021
First pictures: Mercedes reveals its new F1 car for 2021
It is not yet clear how long people who have contracted Covid-19 remain immune against reinfection. However Hamilton expects he and his team will take similar precautions against catching the virus this year as they did last season.

“That’s not really been discussed and I don’t really know what I will be doing differently,” he said. “Of course safety is going to be key and, of course, I do not want to miss a single race this year.

“I think we did 99.8% of the time right, whatever it was, last year. It was pretty spot-on in terms of how we conducted ourselves. We just were really, really unlucky. It’s difficult to be 100% safe.

“But it’ll be, I would imagine, reduced travelling, it will be a lot of time at home in a small bubble like everyone else is working on. And that’s kind of it for now. But I will coordinate with the team what is the best way forward.”

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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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  • 29 comments on “Hamilton: Recovery wasn’t quick after “really unlucky” Covid infection”

    1. This guy thinks he is mother Theresa because he didn’t share pictures of him signing his contract. What a massive clown

      1. G (@unklegsif)
        3rd March 2021, 8:29

        Would you like me to hold this mirror up a little closer, dragob

      2. Aww, salty much? You’re the clown.

      3. Hamilton can never do anything good by some people. Envy is all about.

      4. Come on, can’t he be Marcelo Bielsa? Bielsa’s contract extension article was actually a picture of Leeds United’s Championship trophy.
        If a photo of his contract extension had to be done, it would be a photo of his 2020 championship trophy instead. That’s all.

    2. what a drama queen this guy has become.. he’s got the best of the best in the world , and it wasn’t the easiest?

      1. He was super unlucky

    3. Ok. Hamilton wasn’t feeling well in the final race. He was already WDC. Mercedes was already WCC. So he didn’t need to drive.

      So why did he insisted on driving? Was it Wolff’s request? Contract obligation? Russell?

      1. *insist

      2. Surely the longer someone stays out of the car, the more people get used to the idea of you not being there, and the greater the chance you get replaced.. even if you’re the best there is.

      3. Because that is HIS seat. He can do what he likes with it as long Merc agree. You, or anyone else, does not have a say on whether Lewis should drive his car or not. Jog on.

        1. Actually the argument can easily be made that a driver who is not fully healthy should stand aside not just for themselves, but for their team. I’m not saying Lewis’s situation was akin to Toivonen’s, but still.

        2. The reality was that he was clearly still unwell and he said he lost 4kg of muscle which is not something you can regain quickly and could easily compromise performance.

          MB had a duty of care to Lewis (and all their employees in general) and should have made the decision for him not to race. If Lewis crashed and fatigue was identified as a factor then MB would have NO defence, saying Lewis felt OK and he wanted to drive won’t cut it.

          1. I find it hard to believe that he could have caught a case of COVID so bad that he lost 4 kilos yet within 10 days of catching it he’s shed the virus from his system completely, tested negative.

      4. I am pretty sure that the only one who felt as unhappy about Russel doing well as Bottas did was actually Hamilton “only facts!”.

        After that performance, it makes huge sense that Lewis wanted to get back into that car ASAP instead of giving Russel another shot at it.

    4. Yesterday I ate a cheeseburger, but I kept it to myself because that’s not really a message that I want to be sending out to people who are losing families from famine. I am such an inspiration!

      1. You better eat a vegan Hamilton Burger next time

      2. You’re an inspiration for all of us.

    5. Throughout most of last season, Hamilton wore a mask with a valve,
      This is an exhalation valve. Basically that type protects the wearer, but does little to protect others.
      What was interesting was that sometimes the valve was on the right cheek, and other times on the left.
      My understanding was that it should be on the right, that is unless the mask is upside down.
      Maybe this will change in 2021. Something to watch for.

      1. As long as it is not inside-out………………..that might explain how he got it.

      2. There still is a filter in the ventil. So optimal protection.

    6. Hamilton can do nothing and people will criticise him. Lay off him for goodness sake. He is honest and open minded.
      Most of the criticism is cynical and smacks of envy.
      The context of his statements is not quoted – he is likely answering direct questions.

      1. Envy yes, that is the right word for the ha ters.

      2. Is it not that way with all the drivers – and other team members to perhaps a lesser degree – though? Media, regardless of the circumstance and situation, tends to sway the context and ultimately the truth on everything.

    7. COVID is easy to avoid if you socially distance, take precautions, wear a mask.

      It’s not like Hamilton has to fly with members of the public, go to supermarkets, etc. It’s strange how he caught it if he was taking all the precautions.

      At the end of the day his legacy will be in 5/8 championships his biggest rival was Bottas who is slower than a substitute driver that had no preparations, 7/8 championships won against the other side of the garage, 1/8 championship won against Felipe Massa.

    8. 1/8 championship won against Felipe Massa

      and Kimi Raikkonen. In fact 3/8 championships won against an equal or faster Ferrari. Schumacher comes out much the same in terms of inter-team rivalry, far worse against intra-team rivals given Ferrari’s one-main-driver ethos. Fangio then? He was even allowed to use his team mates car to finish races when his blew. The point is that, as usual, you’re diminishing Hamilton’s achievements by using different metrics, solely in his case.

      1. 2017 and 2018 the Mercs were quickest, just that Hamilton and Mercedes made a lot of blunders in the first half of those seasons. Hamilton has never been ultra consistent we will all agree and he wasn’t in the first half of those seasons.

        Non-Mercs won 10/21 in 2018. In 2001 non-Ferrari cars won 8/17. Very similar.

        Non-Mercs won 8/20 in 2017. In 2011 non-RBR cars won 7/19. Very similar.

      2. Well said David. It baffles me the spiteful degradation that Lewis receives and likely mostly from Brits but we’re all entitled to an opinion. I’ve never admired any sportsman or woman more and I’ve seen a few.

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