Hamilton still living 'in constant fear' of Covid

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Covid restrictions have been slowly relaxed around the world and in the F1 paddock, but Lewis Hamilton hasn't been taking any chances this season and insists he's still living "in constant fear" of the virus.

Hamilton tested positive for Covid twelve months ago in Bahrain and the seven-time world champion has been fully vaccinated since, a mandatory requirement in F1.

But the Briton has nevertheless doubled down on his efforts to protect himself against the coronavirus, especially during the present period as a sudden positive test would rule him out of the title battle with just two races to go.

"You live in constant fear," he said in interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"For the people around me, it's not bad if they miss a day at work. But for us drivers, it can be crucial. If you miss one or two races, the year is over.

"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."

While the F1 paddock has opened up to visitors once again this season under certain conditions, Hamilton has continued to enforce his own rules of social distancing most of the time.

"The rules have been relaxed a bit in some areas," added Hamilton who, like all members of the F1 community, is tested on a regular basis.

"It's easy to get careless and get into trouble, so you always have to keep it in mind.

"My approach to social contact is very different now than it was in the past, because you keep your distance from everyone and always hold your breath when people are around you."

Hamilton heads into the final two rounds of this year's campaign feeling at his peak.

But the 36-year-old has said that his bout of Covid last year led to some enduring physical effects that didn't make his job any easier in the first part of the 2021 season.

"The first half of this season was one of the hardest I have ever experienced," he explained.

"I had to really fight through it. I focused on the recovery programme and training, used breathing techniques, and ran almost every day.

"Because of the more intensive training, I didn't have any problems in the hotter races after the summer break. I'm grateful for that. I feel like I'm finally rid of it."

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