(Reuters) – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said he was feeling good for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix after making a delayed arrival in Sao Paulo on Thursday due to sickness and a car accident.
“I’m on the up-slope, so I am a lot closer to 100 percent,” the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Interlagos circuit ahead of the penultimate race of a championship that he has already won.
Hamilton had revealed late on Wednesday, via Instagram and after the team had said he was suffering from a fever, that he had been involved in a road accident in Monaco in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The 30-year-old Briton said he wanted to take responsibility for the incident to prevent people from making a “quick buck” out of it.
“Nobody was hurt, which is the most important thing,” he had told his fans. “But the car was obviously damaged and I made very light contact with a stationary vehicle.”
He gave no further details after flying in on Thursday. Unconfirmed media reports suggested he had been driving a purple Pagani Zonda supercar, worth around $2 million, at the time.
The triple champion said life had been hectic since the Mexican Grand Prix on Nov 1.
“I had gone to Mexico on the Wednesday. We worked all day Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday,” he said.
“And then I had my mum’s (60th birthday) party (in London) and that killed me, That was pretty amazing, but I really felt it on Sunday and Monday.”
Hamilton said he had decided to rest at home and leave a day later than scheduled after consulting with his team and doctor.
“However, I am informing you because I feel we all must take responsibility for our actions. Mistakes happen to us all but what’s important is that we learn from them and grow. Can’t wait for the weekend Brazil.”
Hamilton clinched his third world title in Texas last month with three races to spare but has a patchy record behind the wheel when away from the race track.
He was banned from driving in France in 2007 and had his car impounded after being caught driving at 40 miles per hour above the speed-limit on a motorway northeast of Paris.
He was also booked for reckless driving during the 2010 Australian Grand Prix after police saw him spinning the wheels of his car near Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit.
($1 = 0.6572 pounds)
(Reporting by Ian Ransom/Alan Baldwin; Editing by Nick Mulvenney and Justin Palmer)