Why Lewis Hamilton considered quitting Formula 1 during Coronavirus lockdown
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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has revealed he considered quitting Formula 1 while stuck in lockdown.
Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes is in its final year, and the six-time world champion has not announced his intentions for 2021 and beyond.
However, the 35-year-old British driver confessed he has regularly struggled to stay motivated during the coronavirus epidemic, and has pondered whether this should be his last season in Formula 1.
“I’ve been really spending time trying to take time for me, making sure that I appreciate me, acknowledging things that you do well, acknowledging also when you fail and you don’t do it so great. It’s okay. And not being so hard on yourself, all these different things,” Hamilton told Deep Dive on Tuesday.
“I have days when I wake up and feel groggy, I don’t feel motivated to work out. I feel, ‘Jeez, where are we going? What’s next? Should I continue racing?’
“I think all these different things, and then I’m like, ‘Damn it’, and the next hour, or whatever, it passes, and I’m like, ‘Damn, I love what I do. Why would I ever consider not continuing?”
Spectators are not expected to be permitted to attend Formula 1 races when the sport returns. Earlier this month, Hamilton said leaving the sport for a year would be a mistake, even if it would have a positive impact on his physical and mental wellbeing.
“You’re going to have nobody in the crowd … It’s going to be very empty. For us, it’s going to be like a test day, probably even worse than a test day,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t think that for an athlete to step away in their prime for a year is ever a good thing.
“To take a sabbatical is not on the cards. But we’ve been handed a part-sabbatical, which I’m enjoying.”
Hamilton is determined not to waste his new-found spare time, and has been focusing on his fitness while in lockdown. The British superstar also said he is in “pretty decent shape”, but admitted there is room for improvement.
“If we are not improving and growing during these days, then what are we doing? You’re obviously just wasting your time sitting on your backside,” Hamilton told Deep Dive.
“Nothing’s going to get handed to any of us. We’ve got to go out there and get whatever it is we want, and you’ve got to want it more than the person you’re fighting against. You’ve just got to get off your arse and do it.
“I’m in pretty decent shape, but I can always be in better shape. I see things and I’m like, ‘Damn, I’ve got a bit of fat here. Shoot, I’ve got to work harder, I’ve got to go for a run’. In actual reality, I don’t really have much fat.
“But there are people out there that have these things going through their minds. You’ve just got to let go, find what it is you love and say I’m going to do it. I’m not going to let anything get in my way.
“It might take a long time. People forget I started racing when I was eight and I didn’t get to Formula 1 until I was 22, so that was a long time for me to get there, but patience is also very, very important.
“I do hope to come back better.”