Lewis Hamilton fell to the floor of the cool down room moments after admitting his drinks bottle failed during the French Grand Prix. The seven-time champion dropped to his knees and laid down on the floor.
Seconds later, he gasped “what a race” to team-mate George Russell who finished third. Hamilton was then seen struggling for breath while the others discussed Charles Leclerc’s crash. It came after the Mercedes driver admitted he could not drink during the race after a failure.
He explained: “That was actually a tough race because my drinks bottle didn’t work, but what a great result, considering we’ve been so far off these guys all weekend.”
Hamilton suggested he could have lost around three kilos of body weight due to not drinking properly during the race. The result is Hamilton’s best result of the season and his fourth successive podium.
The Mercedes star has now picked up five podium finishes this season despite the Silver Arrows pace issues. Almost all of the team’s top-three results this season have been down to issues with at least one of the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers.
Today, they picked up places after Leclerc’s collision at turn 11 and Carlos Sainz dropping down the field after a late stop. Hamilton picked up on this after the chequered flag as he praised Mercedes for a lack of reliability issues.
He added: “Reliability is one thing that my team’s been amazing at, so a huge congratulations to the team back at the factory, the team here, who without them we couldn’t get this podium.”
On the cool down lap, Toto Wolff praised Hamilton and Russell for their excellent performances. Hamilton responded: “Great job guys, that’s an incredible result for the team, it just shows all the hard work we’re doing. Let’s keep pushing. Great job George.”
Russell picked up his fourth podium of the season after a titanic duel with Sergio Perez for third. But, losing out to Hamilton brings the pair to within just 16 points of each other in the drivers championship.
After the race, Russell commented: “I’m sweating and a bit knackered now to be honest.
“The pace was strong but we really struggled with the warm up on that restart and Checo was all over me. I was glad to see that chequered flag and come home with P3. Two podiums for Mercedes is great.”