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Hamilton explains his feelings on podium; he and Wolff expand on strategy

The Brit talks about fatigue as he and Toto Wolff add on the strategy they had.

6w ago
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Lewis Hamilton describes his feelings after F1 Hungarian GP, as he and Toto Wolff expands on the strategy they had where he was the lone re-starter on the grid.

Already on the podium of the F1 Hungarian GP, Mercedes' Hamilton looked short of breath and holding himself back with the celebrations. He didn't spray the champagne enough, as well. Post it, he went to see the doctor and missed some part of press conference.

Mercedes noted about fatigue and mild dizziness. After he joined the press conference, Hamilton agreed that it was one of the weirdest experiences he has ever had on the podium, while revealing that he may have long COVID-19.

Having caught the virus at the back end of the 2020 F1 season, Hamilton has felt its pain for some time now, trying to be 100 percent, with fatigue setting in quicker than before. "I was just so exhausted afterwards," he said. "It was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had on the podium. I’m OK, yeah.

"I had real dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium. I’ve been fighting all year, really, with the health, you know staying healthy after what happened at the end of last year and it’s still… it’s a battle. I haven’t spoken to anyone particularly about it but I think it is lingering. I remember the effects of when I had it and training’s been different since then and the levels of fatigue that you get is different and it’s a real challenge.

"It is just continuing to try and train and prepare the best way I can. The race, I think, as well as qualifying, maybe it’s hydration. I don’t know but I’ve definitely not had that experience. I had that something similar in Silverstone but this is way worse," Hamilton summed up, as he then opened up about his strategy in Hungarian GP.

With the track having dried up, Hamilton was the lone starter on the grid for the second start, when everyone else pitted to change to slicks. It looked odd from Mercedes side to make such a mistake, where the Brit said that he followed what his team asked him. It did cost him a straight win, which is crucial in the title fight against Max Verstappen.

"I know that we can pit," said Hamilton. "Obviously we all started on the inters and I tried, just through the formation lap, giving the team information. It was dry in all the corners and so I kept telling them: dry, dry, dry and they said to stay out.

"I don’t really understand but I’m sure it is top off… definitely a mistake from us all but we win and lose as a team and we bear the burden of the mistakes together and we just keep fighting. The team did an amazing job with the strategy, with the pit stops and I just had to make it work out there, so it was flat chat for the entire race and very, very hard with tyre temperatures and that but nonetheless I enjoyed it," summed up Hamilton.

Team chief, Wolff, agreed that while in hindsight they obviously would have done it differently seeing other teams pitting, but he and Mercedes were convinced that it was the right thing to do then. He stood by the decision and backed his team for it.

"To be honest, we absolutely did the right thing, there is no one in the team, that would have done otherwise, as a leading car, it is always tough to take the decision," said Wolff. "If you are the only one pitting then you come out last. And there is a difficulty in getting out of the pit box because everyone else it pitting, and now it looked like, we were a little bit lonely there on the grid, and it obviously played against us.

"With the sun, it dried up pretty quickly that within a lap it was dry and these things can happen. I thought that within one lap, it couldn't possibly dry up like it did, and at the end, you have to take it on the chin that it was the wrong outcome. But the decision was right. We calculated that he would have come out sixth with the train of cars going into the pits. Now you are more clever, but it is what it is.

"I stand absolutely behind the decision to stay out and that's why I am fine, I think we could have gambled with the leading car and come out with a disastrous outcome and and if that would have happened, then people would have said, we have done a mistake, so, it was a right decision. I think if five cars would have stayed out there, probably, we would have much better race, but things happen and at the end of the day, with how it is with karma, maybe we shouldn't have taken full points," summed up Wolff.

Here's Lewis Hamilton with a solo start: www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-hungarian-grand-prix-hamilton-starts-alone-in-bizarre-race-restart-at-hungaroring.1706898800964885232.html

[Image courtesy: Daimler Media AG] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]

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