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Ill Hamilton was nearly substituted

NEWS STORY
27/07/2019

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that his team was preparing to put Esteban Ocon in his car today after Briton felt unwell ahead of FP3.

Speaking after securing pole position for tomorrow's German Grand Prix, Hamilton revealed that after feeling unwell his team began taking preparations to replace him.

"I wasn't feeling good this morning, I had a bit of a sore throat," the world champion told reporters. "So we prepped just in case I wasn't going to be able to do the session.

"I did the practice and we were prepared to be able to put the second driver in, that was the worst case scenario," he added. "We got through, good."

Under pressure on Friday, and again this morning, everything pointed to Ferrari locking-out the front row, however Sebastian Vettel failed to make it to Q2 following a turbo-related issue and Charles Leclerc was unable to post a time in Q3 after suffering a fuel-system problem.

"The team did a great job in terms of timing and getting us out at the right times," said Hamilton. "As you saw both Ferraris dropped out. That made it a bit different in terms of the battle that we had at the end.

"Nevertheless I think I had pretty good pace, I think maybe it would have been close between me and Leclerc, who knows? They've been pretty quick all weekend. But I was really, really happy with the laps I'd done, particularly Q2 onwards.

"The team have worked so hard, and it's really great for Mercedes with the 125 years celebration this weekend, so couldn't have been a better way to start the weekend."

Asked about the race, he said: "If it's like today, and temperatures were getting hotter towards the end, it's going to be a real challenge. I think the real challenge is making sure we do all our due diligence and make sure we operate at the level we've been operating at today.

"There was talk of rain even today, and tomorrow potentially more so. I've not looked at the long runs so I don't know how strong they are on the long runs. But it's not the easiest of tracks to overtake.

"Depending on the temperature, if it's like yesterday, it makes quite a difficult race, and probably more stops."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

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