Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said he feels “grateful to be alive” after returning from a positive COVID-19 test to race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he finished third.
Hamilton, who sat out the Sakhir Grand Prix last week and was only cleared to race this weekend on Thursday, admitted to not being 100 percent after qualifying in the same position on Saturday evening and 24 hours later said nothing had changed.
The Mercedes driver, who otherwise dominated the season and wrapped up the championship with three races to spare, looked to be off his usual best during the race.
“Physically, massively. I don’t think I’ve ever been so blown,” Hamilton said afterwards when asked if he was still feeling the effects of coronavirus. “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, 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.”
Hamilton finished behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and, despite seeing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claim the win, said it was a good outcome.
“Considering the past couple of weeks I’ve had, I’m really genuinely happy with the weekend. It’s obviously not 100 percent as good as I actually would like.”
“All year physically I’ve been fine, but today I definitely wasn’t. 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.”
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