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Lewis Hamilton fears he has long Covid after Hungarian GP exhaustion

·2 min read

Lewis Hamilton believes he may still have not fully recovered from contracting Covid-19 after he experienced fatigue and dizziness at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The British driver finished third in a monumental effort to come back from last place at the Hungaroring – a position later raised to second when Sebastian Vettel was disqualified on a technicality – but admitted he fears he may be suffering from long Covid.

After his immense recovery drive Hamilton missed the start of the post-race press conferences as he was being attended to by his Mercedes team doctor for fatigue. He said later he did not feel he had fully recovered from the effects of the virus he contracted in December last year. “I have been fighting all year with my health after what happened at the end of last year and it is still a battle,” he said. “I had really big dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium.”

Related: Esteban Ocon claims maiden F1 win in chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix

The race at the Hungaroring is hot and physically demanding but Hamilton conceded he may be experiencing the symptoms of the form of the virus where health problems remain for months after it is first contracted.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone particularly about it but I think it is lingering,” he said. “I remember the effects when I had it. The training has been different since then and the levels of fatigue you get are different and it’s a real challenge. So I am just continuing to try and train and prepare the best way I can. Who knows what it is today? Maybe it’s hydration but I’ve definitely not had that experience. I had something similar in Silverstone but this is way worse.”

Hamilton also gave his wholehearted support to Vettel who was first issued with a reprimand by the FIA for not removing his rainbow-coloured T-shirt with the words “Same Love” on it, in support of the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary who are being targeted by repressive laws, then disqualified for Aston-Martin’s failure to produce the required fuel sample.

Sebastian Vettel wore a T-shirt in support of the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary
Sebastian Vettel wore a T-shirt in support of the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary. Photograph: Florion Goga/AFP/Getty Images

FIA rules state T-shirts should be removed before the national anthems and Vettel did not do so. He was bullish before speaking to the stewards. “I’m happy if they disqualify me,” he said. “They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again.” Hamilton backed Vettel. “I think it’s wonderful that Seb has taken a stance this weekend to speak out for those in the LGBTQ+ community here. It was important for him to do so. I am proud of him.”

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