Hamilton battled mental "demons" during tough '19

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he has had “demons” to face during an emotionally-draining title-winning season influenced by the deaths of Niki Lauda and Anthoine Hubert.

Hamilton battled mental "demons" during tough '19
Listen to this article

Mercedes driver Hamilton clinched his sixth world championship at the United States Grand Prix, after a year in which the team’s non-executive director Lauda passed away and Formula 2 racer Hubert was killed in a crash during a Belgian Grand Prix support race.

Hamilton said his sixth title, a fifth in six seasons with Mercedes, came after the “hardest year” for the team that put it on an “emotional rollercoaster” ranging from Lauda’s death in the week of the Monaco Grand Prix to contesting the Mexico weekend without his regular race engineer Peter Bonnington.

“Trying to remain focussed throughout the year, that is the toughest, and only really other athletes who are at the top of their game can really probably relate to it,” said Hamilton.

“It’s just, ‘arrive week-in, week-out, can’t drop the ball – like I did [in qualifying in the US], for example – and being about to bounce back from the lower days.

“It’s not been easy for us. We started the season honestly going off to Melbourne thinking that we were going to be behind.

“It’s been a real challenge, this second half of the season. It’s been the toughest second half of the season that I think we’ve had as a team, fighting against Ferrari and Red Bull.

“Every year you go through a different rollercoaster ride of emotions to get to where you’re going.

“Each and every single one of us is struggling with something in life. Whatever it may be: small, big. I tried to show people that, from the outside, things always look great but it’s not always the case.

“I am also struggling with lots of different things and battling certain demons and trying to make sure that I’m constantly growing as a person.”

Read Also:

While Hamilton did not want to elaborate specifically on any specific personal issues, which he has mentioned before, he said that there is “always the darker side that’s always trying to pull you down”.

Hamilton admitted the loss of the “crucial” Lauda hit him worse than he thought it would and said Hubert’s death, which he saw happen on television just after F1’s qualifying session had finished at Spa, was also complicated to deal with emotionally.

“I’m just trying to show a side that I didn’t understand, that we’re all similar in many ways,” said Hamilton. “I would say this year that losing Niki, I didn’t think that was going to hit me as hard as it did. It really was upsetting and I miss him dearly today and I didn’t realise how much I loved the guy.

“That was a tough pivot point for us in the end and also we lost a young kid [Hubert] at Spa. I saw it on the TV, I saw it happen.

"When something like that happens, it can put lots of doubts in your mind and batting that off thinking, ‘OK, jeez, is it time to stop or shall I keep going?’. Because there’s lots of life afterwards. I still want to spend time with my family, I still want to have a family one day, all these different things.

“But I’m so charged, and I love doing what I do so much, that I don’t think there’s a lot that can particularly stop me in that sense.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Formula 1 could abandon Pirelli's 2020 tyres
Previous article

Formula 1 could abandon Pirelli's 2020 tyres

Next article

Racing Point: "Justice prevailed" with Kvyat penalty

Racing Point: "Justice prevailed" with Kvyat penalty
Load comments
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022