Notably uncomfortable after the Hungarian GP, Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott says Lewis Hamilton has “recovered since”.
Racing his way from the back of the field to P2 at the Hungaroring, Hamilton was visibly exhausted after the grand prix.
The Brit told journalists that he had “real dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium”, saying he reckons it is an after effect of the Covid-19 that he suffered last year.
Hamilton was helped by the sweltering heat in Hungary with Elliott saying the drivers experience conditions that the average person would find unbearable.
“I guess you saw him on the podium struggling,” he said. “I saw him about an hour after that and he was definitely a chunk better and I know he has recovered since then.
“I think if you have never been near these cars, it is really difficult to understand the environment the drivers are in.
“The air that is going by the car, actually because the car is so close to the ground, it is actually closer to the ground temperature than it is to the air temperature. So, during that race I suspect that was sort of 40, 50 degree air, it was humid, the drivers are also sitting in an environment where there are electrical boxes around him, hydraulics with power steering, a hot environment and that was one tough race.
“Lewis was really pushing on that two stop, some of the overtakes he was doing were absolutely brilliant. That takes a lot of energy out of you in that really hot environment.
“The average person like you and me, we wouldn’t survive five minutes in there, let alone a whole race. So, it was unsurprising that Lewis was tired at the end of that, but as he said to the media I think he also wonders whether that is some of the feeling of having had COVID. So, hopefully he will make a good recovery.
“He is now going to have a break over the shutdown and I am sure he will come back really strong for the second half of the season.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 2, 2021
Hamilton heads in to the summer break leading the Drivers’ Championship by eight points ahead of Max Verstappen have turned over a 33-point deficit in two races.
Mercedes are 12 ahead of Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I think it has been a really tough season so far and I think we are probably feeling quite tired,” Elliott said.
“I think we have been enthused and energised by the last two races, the team needs a break, and I am sure they will come back really strong as a result of that.
“I think a few races ago, we probably would have been looking at this and thinking, this is going to be really tough going into a break not in the position we wanted to be in the championship and with a car which felt we were clearly second best.
“We have obviously had some good results in the last two races, luck has definitely gone in our favour and we are sitting in a good position in the championship, but I think for me, what’s really encouraging is the pace we have shown in the last two races.
“Particularly the qualifying in Budapest, to qualify one and two and by a reasonable margin, that’s the strongest position we have been in so far this season.
“The rest of the season is definitely going to be tough, it is going to be a real fight. I think it is going to be one of those classic F1 seasons, hopefully one we win, but I think it is going to be fantastic for you, the viewers, to watch.”