Unwell Hamilton almost misses Valencia race
PUBLISHED: 16:22 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:16 26 October 2009
LEWIS Hamilton came extremely close to missing Sunday s European Grand Prix, according to McLaren supremo Martin Whitmarsh. Hamilton, who completed the Valencia circuit in second place behind Ferrari rival Felipe Massa, woke up on Saturday morning, the da
LEWIS Hamilton came extremely close to missing Sunday's European Grand Prix, according to McLaren supremo Martin Whitmarsh.
Hamilton, who completed the Valencia circuit in second place behind Ferrari rival Felipe Massa, woke up on Saturday morning, the day before the race, with a number of problems.
"At 8am on Saturday, I received a phone call from the team's doctor, Aki Hintsa, telling me that Lewis was in some difficulties," said Whitmarsh.
"He'd woken up with a severe migraine and with his neck in spasm.
"Aki treated Lewis but, when he arrived at the circuit on Saturday morning, he could barely move his neck at all, so things looked very severe."
As a precaution, the McLaren team readied test driver Pedro de la Rosa to take over, but thankfully Herts hero Hamilton, despite delaying his start to Saturday practice, was able to continue with his full race programme.
Whitmarsh was therefore suitably delighted with Hamilton's performance around the new Spanish street circuit.
His second place saw him extend his lead in the drivers' standings to six points.
He said: "Lewis felt a lot better on Sunday but was still slightly sore and tender.
"We are delighted he was able to sustain the performance of a full race in hot conditions.
"We did not have the package to beat Felipe Massa but we feel we did a first-rate job and secured a very useful haul of World Championship points.
"Lewis extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship and, in the Constructors' we extended our lead over BMW Sauber and closed down the gap to Ferrari."
Next up on the Formula 1 calendar is the Belgian GP scheduled for Sunday, September 7, and Whitmarsh is confident Hamilton's preparations for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit will be back on track.
"His physical problems are unlikely to disturb his fitness programme and we expect him to make a full recovery for both the Monza test and next week's Belgian GP," concluded Whitmarsh.