An exhausted Lewis Hamilton admitted he was physically exhausted and felt relieved to finish the race after placing third for champion Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which ended on Sunday. The newly crowned seven-time world champion, who was back in action after recovering from a Covid-19 fight that saw him miss the Sakhir Grand Prix last weekend, said he s ‘felt “overwhelmingly” affected by his illness. “You can’t win them all,” he said, after finishing third behind triumphant Dutchman Max Versappen of Red Bull and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
“And, considering the last two weeks that I have spent, I am really very happy with the weekend.
“I wasn’t 100%. It wasn’t as good as we would have liked, but congratulations to Max. It was a really tough race for me physically.
“All year round, physically, I’m fine, but today I certainly wasn’t. I’m just glad it’s over.
“A big thank you to the team for their continued support. It’s always a fantastic result to get two podiums.”
Hamilton added that the coronavirus contraction had been a factor in his performance even as he won a record-increasing 165th podium and his seventh in successive years on the Yas Marina circuit.
“Physically? Massively,” he said, when asked directly how badly Covid-19 had hit him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so blown away, but look on the bright side – I pulled it off and didn’t even think I would be there last week.
“Now I can’t wait to recover, resume training and get back to where I know I should be. I hope and pray that in 2022 the cars will be better to follow.
“I don’t know if it was a boring race to watch, but once you get there within two seconds you slip and in turbulence all the time. And, of course, we need the right tires!”
In a subsequent interview, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 he felt “destroyed” by the coronavirus.
“Covid is no joke and people all over the world are losing their lives – it shouldn’t be treated that way. It’s really hard.
“I find it very strange to see world leaders laughing about it because it’s not funny.”
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