Last year, the seven-time F1 champion became infected with COVID-19 in Bahrain and missed the penultimate race of the season. Since then, the world champion has been fully vaccinated, which is mandatory in Formula 1.
Although he has been infected before and he is well protected by the vaccine, Hamilton indicates that he is still extremely careful because a contamination in the final sprint of an exciting title fight would be very inopportune.
“You live in constant fear,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“It doesn’t matter to the people around me if they miss a day at work. But for us as riders it can be crucial. If you miss one or two races, the year is over.”
“I see other athletes who are super relaxed about it and don’t seem to mind if they get it. That feels strange to me.”
More visitors are also allowed in the paddock, albeit under certain conditions. But Lewis Hamilton mainly adheres to his own rules and considers keeping a distance, for example.
“The rules have been relaxed in some areas. It’s easy to get careless and get into trouble, so you always have to keep that in mind.”
“My approach to socializing is very different now than it used to be, because you keep your distance from everyone and always hold your breath when people are around you.”
Hamilton says he feels at his best to take on the final battle for the world title, although he admits that his COVID infection from last year has sometimes hindered him, especially during the first half of the season.
“The first half of this season was one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced,” said Hamilton.
“I really had to fight through it. I focused on my recovery program and training, using breathing techniques and walking 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’m finally over it.”
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