Hamilton turned in a fightback drive to complete the podium in third place after an error from Mercedes meant he fell to the back of the field following a misjudgment to start on intermediates while the rest of the grid pitted for slicks.

The seven-time world champion appeared visibly exhausted immediately after the race in parc ferme and struggled to stand during the podium procedure.

Hamilton, who had to miss last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix when he contracted COVID-19, skipped media duties to see Mercedes’ team doctor but did later make an appearance in the post-race FIA press conference.

“I’m okay, there was dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium,” he explained.

“I’ve been fighting all yea with staying healthy with what happened at the end of last year, and it’s still a battle.”

Asked if he felt he could be suffering from the effects of long COVID, Hamilton replied: “I think it is lingering. I remember the effects of when I had it and the training has been different since then.

“The fatigue is different. So I’m just trying to train and prepare as best as I can. Maybe it was hydration today, I don’t know. I experienced something similar in Silverstone but this is way worse."

Hamilton has regained the lead of the world championship after main rival Max Verstappen could only finish 10th.

The Red Bull driver picked up extensive damage to his car in the first corner melee and struggled for pace for the remainder of the race.

As a result, Hamilton heads into the summer break with a six-point lead.