Lewis Hamilton says he is ‘feeling great,’ hopes to race F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain
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In a social media update posted Tuesday, an upbeat Lewis Hamilton said he is “feeling great” in his COVID-19 recovery and is hopeful of racing in Formula One’s season finale Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Publicly speaking for the first time since he tested positive Nov. 30 for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and missed last weekend’s racing in Bahrain, Hamilton said “it’s definitely been one of the hardest weeks that I’ve had for some time.

“Just been focusing on recovering and trying to get back in shape so I can get back in the car and race the final race in Abu Dhabi. I woke up today feeling great. Got my first workout in, so I just wanted to send you guys a message of positivity, let you know that I’m OK.”

Hamilton, who already had clinched his seventh Formula One championship last month, had been in isolation for more than a week after developing mild symptoms and testing positive the day after his Nov. 29 victory at Bahrain International Circuit.

Hamilton has remained in Bahrain since then, and Autosport has reported he must meet strict COVID-19 protocols for Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates before being allowed to leave quarantine and travel to race in the season finale.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said the team will have Hamilton’s No. 44 ready if he is able to start the 17th and final race of the season. If Hamilton is unable to make the grid, the team will use George Russell, who started second and led 59 of 87 laps Sunday in replacing Hamilton at Bahrain.

At the end of his message Tuesday, Hamilton, who has won 11 of his 16 starts this season, thanked “every single one of you for sending the amazing messages and videos. I really, really appreciate it. I hope wherever you are you’re staying positive and fighting through whatever it is that you’re facing. I hope that I get back in the car soon. I’m sending you guys love.”