Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said he was still feeling the after-effects of COVID-19 after qualifying third for Formula One’s Abu Dhabi season-ender but vowed to give his all in Sunday’s race.
The 35-year-old Mercedes driver has returned after testing positive for the new coronavirus and missing the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain last weekend. He has tested negative repeatedly this week.
The Briton did not want to go into medical detail but said the virus had to be taken seriously and he felt for all those who had suffered from it or were mourning lost loved ones.
Max Verstappen denied Mercedes a final front-row lockout of the season by snatching pole position in the dying seconds of Saturday’s qualifying for the year-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dutchman steered his Honda-powered Red Bull around the 5.5km-long Yas Marina circuit in one minute, 35.246 seconds edging Mercedes’ provisional pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas by just 0.025 seconds.