Lewis Hamilton bids to shake off illness after Germany woes
World champion heading home in bid to shake off illness after draining Germany; Toto Wolff likens Mercedes' race to 'Armageddon' after uncharacteristic driver and team mistakes
By James Galloway at Hockenheim
Last Updated: 29/07/19 3:58pm
Lewis Hamilton has cleared his diary and plans to rest up to ensure he is 100 per cent fit in time for this week's Hungarian GP after Mercedes' Hockenheim 'Armageddon'.
Battling a bout of illness all weekend on what proved to be a dismal home race for Mercedes, the five-time world champion finished outside the points in 11th, but four hours later was promoted to ninth after both Alfa Romeo cars picked up penalties.
Nonetheless, it still represented Hamilton's joint-worst race finish since Mercedes' era of success began in 2014.
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Hamilton conceded the weekend had been "physically and mentally more challenging" than most, with his race featuring one crash and another spin in the tricky wet-dry conditions.
"I have cancelled everything I have for the next few days. So I'm going home," Hamilton said on Sunday evening before leaving Hockenheim.
"I will probably sleep the next few days and try and get over this bug. It's not really improving massively, hopefully the next couple of days it will. I don't think being in the car helps.
"Health is just so important so I'm going to make try I can try and be as healthy as I can."
The Hungarian GP weekend in Budapest begins on Thursday.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff commended Hamilton for fighting on through the weekend, but said it was clear the world champion was never 100 per cent.
"I think he was not healthy and it was the case the whole weekend. He did the most to get himself in an okay place to race," Wolff said.
"Many of us would probably not have considered being in a race car, but he did that, and he felt better today, but certainly you can't be physically on your best game when you've been ill for a few days.
"But having said that, he tried to push through it and that needs to be honoured."
Mercedes hit 'snakes' on worst day of 2019
With Hamilton ultimately finishing ahead of only the Williams cars, and Valtteri Bottas crashing out when challenging for a podium, Mercedes endured what Wolff described as "Armageddon".
"It's massively disappointing and upsetting for all of us to be leading the grand prix [and not win]," Hamilton said, who had been ahead until lap 29 of 64.
"I was eight seconds in the lead at one stage, had it all under the control, and things are going to be thrown at you all the time in conditions like this. But it was like one domino after domino - like snakes and ladders and I was hitting the snakes today.
"But the thing is we win and we lose together. It shows you how easy it is to get a weekend wrong, processes wrong, but we stay united, we'll pull together and we'll regroup. The guys will be in the factory [on Monday] already and I will have a conference call with everyone before the weekend and then we'll come back fighting.
"We were still doing pretty awesome up to the domino effect, so we need to take the positives this weekend and leave all the negatives out. It's only one race and we'll keep moving forwards."
Wolff admitted the team were "bruised" by the astonishing sequence of mistakes and incidents but insisted: "At the end we will summarise it rationally and write down all the wrongs things, all the calls that we missed or all the things that we shouldn't have done, and progress as a team."
Ferrari, who finished second with Sebastian Vettel from 20th on the grid but saw Charles Leclerc crash out, clawed 16 points back on Mercedes' in the Constructors' Championship, but the gap is a massive 148 points at the half-way point of the season.
Don't miss the next installment of F1 2019 at the Hungarian GP this coming weekend on Sky Sports F1 - the final race before the summer break. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season l