Hamilton: ‘One of the craziest races I’ve ever had’

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has declared he is “feeling great” in his first public message since contracting COVID-19 – and confirmed he is aiming to race in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton reflected on a crazy, crazy day at Mugello, with the race winner saying it felt like he was in “three races in one day” in Tuscany.

Hamilton went from pole position to first past the chequered flag but there was an absolutely chaotic afternoon of Formula 1 racing before the six-time World Champion clinched his 90th Grand Prix win

The race lasted two hours and 25 minutes following two red flagged periods and a huge first lap incident but, as the dust settles, Hamilton has taken another big step forward to World title number seven.

“That was all a bit of daze,” Hamilton said in the immediate post-race interviews.

“That was like three races in one day. It was just incredibly tough. This track is phenomenal, the heat, keeping Valtteri behind, who has been quick all weekend was not easy…and obviously I was behind him at the beginning.

“All those restarts…total focus was needed during that time. It was really, really hard.

“The first stint I was fine managing my tyres. I didn’t really need to stop, it’s just that the team were worried because Valtteri had a problem.

“And then you obviously see the things unravelling those next few laps. Then the last one starting on the soft which was a used tyre and not know how far that was going to go. Valtteri appeared out of nowhere when I saw Danny [Ricciardo] behind and he was on it.

“There was times I was looking after the tyres and Valtteri would close up, so keeping that one second gap, because this is a long, long straight, I didn’t want Valtteri to have DRS.

“My heart is definitely racing and it is crazy to be here and have 90 Grand Prix wins.”

He continued: “I’m pretty exhausted to be honest. That was one of the craziest races I’ve had.

“Anything could have happened on those restarts but fortunately I got the best start [at the end]. But even after that, still, Valtteri was there the whole time.

“If I had made any mistake, Valtteri would have slipstreamed me down the straight. Today was physically and mentally one of the most challenging days I’ve ever experienced.

Asked if he would like F1 to come back to Mugello, he said: “I like it. I don’t know how it was down the rest of the field but it is an incredible circuit. I would love to come back.”

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