Lewis Hamilton says he has started training again to try and race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend after enduring a tough week fighting COVID-19.
The seven-time world champion tested positive the day after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, and has had to isolate for 10 days while recovering. Hamilton says he has found the time since particularly challenging as he was unable to train for over a week, but is now attempting to prepare himself to drive at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
“Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well,” Hamilton posted in a video message. “I know I’ve not been in touch this past week but it’s definitely been one of the hardest weeks that I’ve had for some time, and I’ve just been focusing on recovering and trying to get back in shape so I can back in the car and race the final race in Abu Dhabi.
“I woke up today feeling great and got my first workout in, so I just wanted to send you guys a message of positivity and let you know that I’m OK, and thank every single one of you for sending me the amazing messages and videos, I really, really appreciate it.
“I hope wherever you are you’re staying positive and fighting whatever it is that you’re facing. I hope that I can get back in the car soon.”
After George Russell’s impressive stand-in performance in place of Hamilton at the second Bahrain race, team principal Toto Wolff said the main driver will be given as long as possible to try and prove his fitness to return.
“If Lewis recovers – and he’s getting better every day – and he’s being considered COVID-free, negative, then he will be in the car,” Wolff confirmed.
Theoretically, the latest Hamilton can be cleared to drive is Saturday afternoon, as he has to take part in qualifying to be allowed to race, but a free practice appearance is not mandatory. However, it remains to be seen if Mercedes would leave any uncertainty beyond the start of Friday’s FP1 session.