Lewis Hamilton fears he has Long Covid after struggling with dizziness, fatigue and blurred vision at both Silverstone and the Hungarian GP as he arrives late for his press conference due to attention from a team doctor
- Lewis Hamilton fought back to third place in the Hungarian GP after an exciting race
- The Brit needed help getting on stage as he suffered from blurred vision
- Hamilton admitted training was ‘different’ and could have had Covid for a long time
Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is still suffering from the effects of Covid-19, eight months after the first positive test for the virus.
Hamilton, who finished third in Budapest after a thrilling 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix, showed the first sign of concern when he needed help getting onto the podium.
While other drivers took on various media responsibilities with title holders, Hamilton was cared for by a Mercedes team doctor, where he concluded that he is likely suffering from Long Covid.
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he could still be suffering from Long Covid after eight months
The Briton stormed through the pack to finish third in Hungary and regain the championship lead
Media members were told the seven-time champion was suffering from “fatigue and mild dizziness” before he later appeared in his seat coughing and sputtering to explain the state of his condition.
Asked if his fatigue problem is related to the Covid-19 diagnosis that excluded him from Sakhir’s Sakhir Grand Prix last season, Hamilton said: “I haven’t talked to anyone about Long Covid, but I think it’s hanging there.
“I remember the effects from when I had it and the training has been different since then. The degree of fatigue you get is different and it is a real challenge.
“I try to keep training and preparing as best I can. Who knows what it is today? Maybe hydration. I don’t know, but it was definitely different.’
Hamilton felt dizzy after getting out of the car and had blurred vision of the podium
Hamilton went on to explain that he had ‘something similar at Silverstone, but this was much worse’ as concerns grew in the paddock for his well-being at the end of this race, which was won by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
“I was really dizzy and everything got a little blurry on the podium,” said Hamilton when asked to narrate the moments on the podium.
“I’ve been fighting all year to stay healthy and what happened at the end of last year, but it’s still a struggle.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said it was ‘better safe than sorry’ to send Hamilton to the doctor at the time of the press conference.
“I think you can just understand with the heat there is and a race like he had with tons of overtaking. That’s exhausting,” Wolff said.
“I think he should be fine, but it’s better to be safe.”
Hamilton appeared at his post-race press conference after being treated by the doctor
Hamilton is said to have ‘mild symptoms’ when he tested positive last December, but two bouts of fatigue in recent weeks have led him to believe he is continuing to battle the novel coronavirus.
At Silverstone, Hamilton urged the 140,000-strong crowd to wear masks to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19, a message that was not taken up by many in Northamptonshire.
The Mercedes driver will now be given four weeks off to recuperate before the F1 calendar returns for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on August 29.
Sebastian Vettel, who finished second to Hamilton, was kicked out of the media early after being called to the stewards for ‘failing to follow the race director’s instruction’ on ‘pre-race procedure’.
Vettel wore a rainbow-colored t-shirt with the words ‘Same Love’ written across the chest prior to the race as part of his support for Hungary’s LGBTQ+ community.
“I’ve heard it’s because I left my shirt on for the national anthem,” Vettel told Sky Sports before being taken away.
Hamilton now has four weeks to recover and boost his health while F1 takes its summer break
“I’m happy if they disqualify me. They can do with me whatever they want, I don’t care. I would do it again.’
Hamilton, who spoke out this week against ‘cowardly’ anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Hungary, defended Vettel.
“I’m thrilled that Seb took a stand this weekend to speak out for those in the LGBTQ+ community here,” he said.
“I spoke to him at the beginning of the weekend and I think it was important for him to do that. He probably won’t have too many problems, but we need to take a stand. We push diversity and inclusivity and that group is part of that, so I’m proud of that.’