F1: Not being afraid of covid ‘strange’ – Hamilton

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton says it’s “strange” to him that some athletes are now putting the covid crisis firmly behind them.

20 months after the pandemic struck, and now well into the mass vaccination campaign across the world, some covid restrictions are finally beginning to ease in Formula 1.

Seven time world champion Hamilton, however, says he is battling for the 2021 title whilst “in constant fear” of the virus.

“I am still at home alone, but thanks to the experience from the previous year, this can now be managed a little better,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

“But you live in constant fear.”

Hamilton, 36, has already had covid, and he said fully recovering from it made the first half of this season “one of the toughest I’ve ever experienced”.

But he says the fear now is that another covid infection will mean game over for the championship.

“It doesn’t matter to the people around me if they miss a day of work,” said the Mercedes driver. “But it can be decisive for us drivers.

“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.”

But Hamilton also admits to remaining worried about the virus itself, while the “isolation and insecurity in dealing with people makes a monumental difference”.

“Last year it was only six months because of the short season, but now we’ve had it for almost a whole year,” he said.

“The rules have been relaxed somewhat in some areas, making it easier to be careless and get into trouble. So you always have to keep it in the back of your mind.

“My way of dealing with social contact is very different now than in the past. Now I keep my distance from everyone and always hold my breath when people are around.”