Lewis Hamilton has surprisingly admitted that he doesn’t like driving on normal roads because he finds it too stressful.
Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine in an article published on Monday, the seven-time Formula 1 world champion said: “I just think I find it stressful. I try not to do things that don’t add to my life.”
As he negotiated the busy streets near Nice in his Mercedes Smart car, Hamilton told his interviewer: “Look, we’re on these roads, anything can happen.” Later, as the traffic increased, he continued, “This is now stressful for me. This road is crazy. There’s so much going on here. I’ll turn around in a second.”
Hamilton also admitted he considered quitting F1 after the season finale in Abu Dhabi last year, when a controversial interpretation of the rules saw Max Verstappen deny the British driver an eighth championship. “I don’t know if I can really put into words the feeling I had,” said the British pilot.
“I remember sitting there in disbelief. And realizing that I have to unbuckle my belt, I have to get out of there, I have to get out of this thing, I have to find the strength. I had no strength. And I would say it was one of the hardest times I’ve experienced in a long, long time.”
Decisions by FIA race director Michael Masi, who has since resigned, which saw a late safety car deployed and the advantage handed to his fiercest rival, left Hamilton stunned and didn’t talk about the incident for weeks. “I sure thought about whether I wanted to continue.”
The Mercedes driver is under contract with his team until the end of next year and said he has considered extending his stay in the sport beyond that time. Hamilton has had to settle for fighting to be the best of the rest this campaign, with Verstappen seemingly on course to retain his crown.
But the 37-year-old said the prospect of an unprecedented eighth championship drives him to continue in the sport.
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about expanding it,” he said. “I’m still on a mission, I still like to drive, I still challenge myself. So I don’t really feel like I have to give it up anytime soon.”
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement on the eve of the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, but Hamilton is unlikely to do so anytime soon.
“It doesn’t make me think about my future, but it’s a reminder that I’m at this part of my career that the people that I raced with and have raced for so long are going to start to stop,” Hamilton said. “Before you know it, Fernando Alonso won’t be here and then who will be there? I guess I’ll be the biggest one.
“But I’m thinking about how I can improve this car, what steps do we need to take to get this team back to winning ways, what is the roadmap to claim another world championship and what do we need to do to have everyone in this sport more aligned. , in terms of diversity”.
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