"I wasn't fussed about racing this year at all. I lost quite a lot of passion for racing because of the way the whole atmosphere was. I stopped enjoying what I was doing. It soured my feeling for driving, my desire. Which was a shame, because it was all I'd grown up wanting to do."
Elite competition is meant to be difficult, but sapping someone's enthusiasm and love for the sport that enchanted them as a child is a sad and harsh consequence when it goes badly wrong.
Formula 1 is a particularly ruthless place that chews up and spits out drivers for fun. Jolyon Palmer was its chief victim in 2017, culminating in his exit from F1 with four races of the season still to go. Carlos Sainz Jr took his Renault seat, and Palmer went off the grid - figuratively and literally, happily avoiding racing cars and media like the plague.