Formula 1 | Hamilton wants to stay in F1 for a long time to find success

Lewis Hamilton is experiencing his toughest season in Formula 1 this year, without a win since the first Grand Prix. The Mercedes F1 driver admits that for a top athlete, failure is a difficult thing to handle.

“With great difficulty” Hamilton admits. “As athletes we are super determined, we don’t like to lose, we don’t like to fail. Also, failure is not an option.”

“But sometimes it happens and it’s part of the process. It’s about not blaming yourself and not getting down, it’s about owning it, putting it behind you and using it as an experience to progress. And it’s not easy.”

The Briton is a little frustrated at being away from Red Bull and Ferrari, but he also understands that it can happen and knows that F1 sometimes produces very clear gaps between teams.

“I wouldn’t say it hurts. We all know what it can be. We’d like to be in that battle, and I wish all the cars were a lot closer and we all had a much better battle closer to the front.”

“I wish it was just tenths between us all, but that’s not how our sport works. So I don’t worry about it, and it’s not something I can control right now.”

Hamilton describes what ‘keeps him up at night’

The seven-time world champion still wants to optimize his performance and hopes to continue to do so at the end of the season: “My worry, what keeps me up at night, is what I let slip.”

“Who do I talk to at the circuit? How can I support Bono? How can I support Marcus (Dudley, performance engineer) and Shov (Andrew Shovlin, director of track engineering)? In the aeronautics department , how can I help them make better choices for their next car?”

“When the car breaks down, I take money out of the budget and say ‘God, don’t do this!’ That’s what I’ve really focused on, and hopefully when we go back in February next year, the car will be going well and doing what we expect.”

“I like to think I deserve my place”

Despite the difficulties encountered, Hamilton does not lose patience and remains hopeful of progress in the future. The Brit wants to show that he deserves his place and wants to stay in his position for a few more years.

“Definitely. Because it’s going to take more than a year. I think if we had won last year and won this year, life would have been different and the journey would have been different.”

“I like the fact that we’ve gone through an even tougher phase and we have to go through this tough test to get to the point where we’re a little lighter and float a little more.

“So yeah, I’d say it encouraged me to stay longer. Also, I feel fit, I find ways to feel better physically. The mental challenge is a constant thing and always will be because that’s how it is for the athletes, we are at the limit”.

“But for now, considering where I am in life, I’m very grateful for the opportunity I have here. I like to think I still deserve my place here. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

“You have to focus on what you can control”

Although Mercedes F1 fell short of its 2022 goals, Hamilton knows his team has the wherewithal to raise the bar in the future, and even admits he’s happy to be able to see this as a challenge to be met.

“The lesson is to focus on what you can control. We worry about what we can’t control, but we have to learn not to worry about what we can’t control.”

“It’s like we’re all rowing the boat and even though Toto is above the steering mechanism, we as pilots are also part of the rudder that steers it in the right direction.”

“It takes work and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be honest, if it was easy and every day was easy and you were just passing through, it wouldn’t be a challenge.”

“I like the challenge of working with everyone, challenging people and being challenged. I admit we didn’t do a good job this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do a good job in the future. We’ve done it in the past.”

Other athletes are inspiring him right now

Hamilton says she draws inspiration from other athletes, starting with Serena Williams, who has decided to retire. Being around young drivers also makes him realize that he can teach him things, and he hopes to do the same against them.

“I get a lot of inspiration from other athletes. Like, watching Serena, seeing everything she’s been through and the challenges she’s had to face, the way she’s gone through it and she’s come up with a great performance.”

“She’s an amazing warrior and she’s my inspiration right now. So I think it’s just a matter of taking the time to sit back and reflect and figure out what can be improved.”

“With the younger guys here there’s a lot of talent and there’s more. I remember when I came in and thought I could beat everybody, I know what it’s like because I’ve been there.”

“I just try to work on those relationships little by little and support them because, like I said, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like, I know how hard it is on some of these teams. When you’re there. in your early twenties, you don’t know what you can or can’t say or how best to navigate.”

“All you have is raw power, talent and skill. I’m really excited to see Lando [Norris] and Carlos [Leclerc], excel and progress over time. There are some really good guys here.”

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