Hamilton says 2011 trials have helped him grow

Lewis Hamilton says the trials and controversies of his 2011 season were necessary in order for him to learn and grow - and that such knowledge means he can now see the positives from his current campaign

Hamilton says 2011 trials have helped him grow

The Briton has attracted flak throughout the season both as a result of off-track outbursts and on-track incidents, while he also faces finishing second to a team-mate for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

While such tribulations provided a source of concern during in the season, Hamilton says they have also helped him assess his priorities in what he describes as a 'year of growth'.

"I was talking to a friend recently saying its been a difficult year, and he said it's been a year of growth which was one of the most positive things I have learned this year," Hamilton said.

"It really has been. What I've learned this year I'll take into next so I feel positive about it. I think in the future I'll look back on this season, smile and say 'I needed that'.

"I haven't really thought about the last victory: afterwards I was just back in the simulator and thinking about this race. But I have had a really good few positive days since then which have meant more to me than the race win, so I have got a lot of positive energy at the moment.

"There is only one driver who has won more [races], Sebastian, so it could be worse - but it could also always be better. If I look back on this year whilst it's not been a year I have won the most grands prix and the championship, but a year where I have learned quite a bit.

"I think I will come out stronger: I can't say I am there yet, but when I get to the winter and reflect on the whole season I will. I'm definitely a lot wiser than when I started the season and that's always a positive."

In the build up to his victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Hamilton spoke of his desire to build a 'happy bubble' of friends and family around him, but said he wanted to move away from the word and simply focus on the balance of his approach to the sport.

"I want to get rid of that word [bubble] really, its done and dusted," he said. "I mentioned it, I was just talking about having lots of positive people and family most importantly. I've been reminded this year just how important family is.

"Its about striking a balance - you can be too serious, too intense, or not serious enough. I've been racing since I was eight years old and I still don't have the right formula for it. Obviously the car has a big impact on that, but every year is a journey to finding the right solution.

"Last year I spent five or six hours a day training: it was just so much work, a bit too serious I think. This year will be about keeping the training up, but the most important bit will be the time in between: spending it with family and friends, making sure I enjoy it more.

"That's what gets your mind in better shape for next season. Without a doubt I'll turn up very fit next season, but spending time with your family is also massively important."

Hamilton also said he expected Red Bull to carry their 2011 form into next season, and that it was up to McLaren to provide a worthy challenge.

"I have no doubts they'll carry on into next season, so it's our job to somehow make sure the car we carry over is better than this year's car by quite a long way, and from day one.

"Every year we try to arrive with a car that's the best but obviously we've struggled in the last couple of years. Since 2009 we've started better, and I think with next year's car we'll start on the right track.

"If we can do that we have the strength to stay ahead and compete with anyone. Time will tell."

shares
comments
Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari on-track to return to title from in 2012
Previous article

Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari on-track to return to title from in 2012

Next article

Mark Webber determined to close gap to Sebastian Vettel in 2012

Mark Webber determined to close gap to Sebastian Vettel in 2012
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023