Hamilton ‘happy to be alive’ after recovering from Covid-19
- Hamilton missed the penultimate race in Bahrain a week ago after contracting Covid-19 but recovered in time to race in Abu Dhabi.
- Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the season finale, with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second place.
Lewis Hamilton said he was “happy to be alive” after recovering from coronavirus to finish the Formula 1 season with a third place.
The world champion missed the penultimate race in Bahrain a week ago after contracting Covid-19 but recovered in time to race in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton said after the race: “I am destroyed. I do not feel good.
“But I’m happy and grateful I am alive. I live to fight another day and I still managed to finish with a podium.”
The 35-year-old Mercedes driver tested positive for Covid-19 a day after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix last month, was forced to skip the Sakhir GP at the same track a week later, and spent 10 days in isolation before a negative test on Wednesday freed him to travel to Abu Dhabi.
“Covid is no joke,” he said. “I never thought it was. I knew at some stage if I got it it would be tough because there are people out there losing their lives. So I knew it was serious.
“I always find it very strange to see world leaders laughing it off like it is nothing.
“To be able to come back here this weekend, I knew I wouldn’t physically be where I have been the rest of the season but I made it. Where there is a will, there is a way.”
Although he admitted to not feeling well, Hamilton said he was determined to return for Abu Dhabi as long as he tested negative in time.
“It would have been a long gap between Bahrain [race] one and race one [next year],” Hamilton said, “so it was important for me to get back and just get back to the continuity and finish the year strong with the team.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the season finale, with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second place.
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