Lewis Hamilton still looks visibly bruised after his coronary infection. Although he has been given the green light for an operation in Abu Dhabi with a negative test result, the Mercedes pilot does not seem quite fit. And it’s not him either: I’m not at 100 percent,”Hamilton admits after the qualifying. I still have a strange feeling in my lungs.”
Nevertheless, he has declared himself ready for the Abu Dhabi race and is pushing George Russell out of his cockpit again. Of course, the question arises as to whether Hamilton should not rather rest or recover in view of the fact that it is not about anything for him or Mercedes at the end of the season.
But he stresses: “Normally, I would also drive if my arm fell off. That is the case with us racing drivers, but fortunately that is not the case,”says the Brit. Physically, it will definitely not be the easiest race, but I will manage it and give it absolutely everything I have.”
Going into detail how he got through his illness, Hamilton does not want, but what he lacks in the end when he gets out of the car is energy.” One symptom is that it’s draining you right, which is why I tried to sleep as much as possible, but recharging is not as easy as maybe before.”
Not at 100 percent capacity?
Additionally, it has lost a lot of weight, as he stresses. I’m just not at 100 percent the same as the last time I was in the car,”says Hamilton.”I don’t know. But under no circumstances will that prevent me from giving everything tomorrow.”
Mercedes Motorsport Chief Toto Wolff is definitely not worried about the condition of his pilot:”My impression is that he is well. He looks good, he’s mentally good,”says the Austrian.”He’s a good-looking man. But of course you can’t look into it.”
In the race tomorrow the incumbent World Champion will only start from rank three. It is only the third time this season that Hamilton does not enter the race from the first starting line –a consequence of his illness? I believe that after ten days of Corona, no one is on a 100-percent capacity,”Wolff shows understanding. He may have noticed that today.”
Underground damage after riding
Hamilton himself speaks of the”toughest days I had this year in the car”. He did not succeed in perfect rounds today. But this also has to do with the car in general, with which he had some problems. Throughout the day he had to struggle with the balance and tried many changes this weekend.
In addition, he rode a horse in Q1, where in turn 20 he drove heavily over the edge of the stone and damaged the underfloor.” That was the first time this weekend that I got far out there,”he says.”It’s the first time I’ve ever been there.” But I don’t think I would have gotten the pole position without the damage.”
Although Hamilton entered the qualification without expectations, according to his own statement, he would have thought Mercedes would be a little further ahead of Red Bull. The cops have proven to be a strong competitor and want to be beaten in the race for the first time.
“I know we have a hard piece of work ahead of us tomorrow,” says Hamilton. Especially when it’s going to be a tactical stepping-up strategy. The question is how Hamilton’s fitness will affect the end of the race.