“I don’t want to go into too much detail of the experience,” said a noticeably slimmer Hamilton, who coughed on several occasions during his post-qualifying interviews.
“I really feel for those who have suffered from Covid-19, those who have lost loved ones from it, and I can understand how, because it is a nasty virus.
“I am not at 100 per cent. I still have some feeling within my lungs. It is overall energy. One of the symptoms is that it really drains you, and I am trying to sleep as much as I can.
“I have lost a good amount of weight, just in that week, but I would drive even if one of my arms was hanging off – that is what we do as racing drivers. It will not be the easiest of races physically, but I will give everything I have got.”
Should Hamilton drive his way to a sixth victory on the Yas Marina circuit it would be one of the more remarkable victories of his glittering career.
But on a course where pole position is more key than usual Hamilton is definitely up against it.
Verstappen delivered an imperious lap to capture the third pole of his career. The last five winners of this race have started from the front.
Stay here for all the pre-race build up, news from the track and all the action with the race due to start at 1.10pm GMT.