Hamilton with a dizzy spell: Long Covid cause?

Hungarian GP

Lewis Hamilton weakened on the podium after the Hungarian GP and was late for the press conference. The world champion indicated that he is still suffering from the consequences of his corona disease in December. He hadn't talked about it before.

You had already seen it after the English Grand Prix. After a grueling 52 laps and a race to catch up, the world champion no longer looked like the freshest. At least at the moment before the TV interview. After that, the emotions blew away any discomfort. Two weeks later, the Mercedes driver looked even more exhausted after his third place, which ended up being second. Hamilton was panting heavily on the podium.

In the press conference afterwards, his seat initially remained empty. Hamilton only joined later because he had previously visited the team doctor. Then the 99-time GP winner spoke about his well-being. He feels tired, exhausted and dazed after his hussar ride from 14th place to almost the top. He was dizzy. On the podium he only perceived a lot in a blurry way. It was one of the strangest experiences ever for him. Worse than Silverstone.

Fight for health

It used to be common for a Grand Prix to suck the drivers dry. In motorsport it is now like in football. The training methods are more sophisticated, the diet is better managed and the pilots are simply fitter. The cars are also easier to drive with power steering and no manual gears. After some races you even get the feeling that the heroes in their cockpits aren't even sweating.

The case was different for Hamilton. Apparently, the physical discomfort not only has to do with the winding route in Budapest but also with his corona disease from the previous year. In December, the record winner was infected with the insidious virus and therefore missed the second race in Bahrain. Even today, the Briton seems to be suffering from the long-term consequences.

In any case, Hamilton hints at it without even mentioning the word "Long Covid". "I've really struggled with health all year. Staying healthy after what happened at the end of last year. It's still a struggle." That sounds like many people who were infected with Corona and still suffer from symptoms such as rapid exhaustion, breathlessness and limited performance months later.

Hamilton adjusts training

Hamilton even had to adjust his training. He had kept these physical problems a secret until Hungary. That was no longer possible after the fainting spell. "I haven't spoken to anyone specifically about it, but I think it sticks. I remember the impact when I had it.The training has been different since then and the levels of fatigue I feel are different. It's a real challenge. I'm just trying to keep training and preparing as best as possible."

When a world champion talks like that, it's a number. Esteban Ocon felt it too. The Budapest winner jumped to Hamilton's side so that people could Don't fall too high." With the heat, the humidity and the many corners, this is one of the toughest tracks. You barely have time to catch your breath. You keep fighting with the car. I also feel exhausted and I'm completely exhausted."

The course of the race meant that Hamilton had to get everything out of his body. "It was hard work. I had to give everything until the last lap." A late change to dry tires had thrown him to 14th position after the restart. The Mercedes driver overtook seven cars - Schumacher (2x), Giovinazzi, Latifi, Tsunoda, Alonso and Sainz – and the strategists did the rest.

Hamilton wondered whether there might be another reason for the exhaustion. "Maybe I didn't drink enough. I don't know, but I definitely haven't had that experience. I had something similar at Silverstone, but it's much worse." In a race, drivers quickly lose between two and three kilograms due to dehydration. In addition to second place, the reward was the championship lead, which Hamilton took over from Verstappen.

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