F1 News

Hamilton lives in constant fear: 'I'm always holding my breath'

Hamilton lives in constant fear: 'I'm always holding my breath'

26-11-2021 11:32 Last update: 13:41
46 Comments

GPblog.com

In 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix due to a coronavirus infection. At the time, it had little impact on his chances of winning the world title, but that would be different this season. The seven-time world champion has said he lives in constant fear of being infected again.

Hamilton afraid of corona

A race more or less mattered little to Hamilton in 2020; the Briton had little competition for the world title, and it wouldn't affect his chances of securing the world championship. With the exciting, close battle with Max Verstappen this season, missing a race could, and most likely would, mean the end of his championship chances. The Mercedes driver is therefore extremely careful not to get infected again.

"You live in constant fear," Hamilton told Auto Motor und Sport. "For the people around me it's not a big deal if they miss a day at work, but for us as drivers it can be crucial. If you miss one or two races, the year is over." So, he finds it odd to see other athletes being so relaxed about it. "They don't seem to mind if they get it. That feels strange to me."

Avoiding social contact

Hamilton indicated that he also finds dealing with coronavirus more difficult this season than last season. "Last year the season was more compact. The difficult period lasted only six months. Now we have had this state of affairs for almost a whole year. The rules have been relaxed a bit in some areas. It's easy to get careless and get into trouble. So you always have to keep it in mind." As a result, he handles social interactions very differently. "I keep my distance from everyone and always hold my breath when people are around me."

Hardest half of season ever

Hamilton has not only struggled with the coronavirus measures still present, but the Mercedes driver has also suffered from the infection itself for a long time, even this season. "The first half of the season was one of the hardest I've ever been through," he said. However, he remains mysterious about the exact consequences. "I can tell more about it in the future, but I finally feel better."

The seven-time world champion says he really had to fight through it. "I concentrated on the recovery program and training, used breathing techniques and ran hard almost every day. Because of the more intensive training, I had no problems in the hotter races after the summer break. I am grateful for that. I feel like I finally got rid of it."

Video player

More videos