Lewis Hamilton revelling in Mercedes' freedom

Lewis Hamilton says he is revelling in his new-found independence after leaving the 'controlled' environment of McLaren

Lewis Hamilton revelling in Mercedes' freedom

Hamilton admitted there were points where he struggled for motivation, energy and focus during his time with the Woking-based squad, but insists such concerns have been banished following his gamble to move to Mercedes.

"I have been in a very controlled environment since I can remember and it's not until the last couple of years that I've come out of that control," Hamilton told the Daily Mirror.

"Now I make the decisions I want to. I'm my own man and that's what I always wanted.

"I'm happier now. I can do things and I don't have to report to anyone.

"Obviously I've got bosses at Mercedes, but no one controls me now. I'm able to be my own man."

Hamilton conceded that the protection he enjoyed during his formative grand prix years had not always been beneficial, particularly as it also reduced his autonomy.

"There was particularly an experience where in my personal life I was having someone saying things to me which was really affecting me," Hamilton explained.

"It saps your energy and it saps your will to want to do things. You are not able to focus on the job at hand.

"There was a point where I was driving and I was crashing for no reason. I was just not on the ball.

"It was lack of energy, lack of motivation. It's almost like depression.

"That was three years ago. Unfortunately, it did affect me. Now I don't have that."

RISKY MOVE

Hamilton described his move to Mercedes as a risk, but says after the opening four races it has paid dividends for both his racing form and his personal happiness.

"Being someone who likes adrenalin and taking risks," he said, "I think there was a point where I weighed up the options and they were both good options but one was slightly riskier than the other and I wanted to try it.

"It's a little bit like when you leave home...in fact a bit more extreme than that.

"If I stayed, I would remain in that environment I'm used to my whole life.

"I would stay with people I'd known my whole life. I'd have been protected. If I go the other way it's all brand new.

"I have to make the best use of it all, build those relationships, grab it with both hands, no time to mess around.

"There's no time for mistakes. It's all on me."

shares
comments
Ferrari's F1 2013 start only a six out of 10, says chief designer

Previous article

Ferrari's F1 2013 start only a six out of 10, says chief designer

Next article

Lotus believes strong car will make Raikkonen stay on in 2014

Lotus believes strong car will make Raikkonen stay on in 2014
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021