Lewis Hamilton has revealed how a bout of flu and a stiff neck nearly cost him the eight European Grand Prix points that have helped him preserve his World Championship lead.
McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa was nearly in the happy position of driving the first race at a new circuit in his native Spain after Hamilton admitted to “a pretty miserable weekend.”
But it was not to be, and Hamilton went on to come second behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa after qualifying in that position.
He mentioned in the post-race press conference that he had experienced some health problems, and told Autosport.com: “I had the flu when I arrived so I had pretty hard fevers pretty much every day, and low energy.
“I also had quite a big problem with a spasm in my neck which kind of nearly did lead to me not racing this weekend.
“I only had it once. I just woke up very very early yesterday, before 5am yesterday, and I had the spasm in my neck. Fortunately I’ve got a great doctor who was with me the whole way through it.”
He said the neck pain was so bad that he was struggling to stand, and was forced to resort to pain-killing injections as well as support from his trainer.
He added: “Pedro was looking forward to racing.”
He said that he was not expecting the problem to reoccur in the future. “I think I’ve done a pretty decent job, considering.”