Hamilton: I am my own toughest critic

Date published: May 4 2020

Lewis Hamilton has thought of quitting F1 during extended break.

Lewis Hamilton has raced against some of the best in Formula 1 but reckons he is his own “toughest” rival.

Entering the sport in 2007, Hamilton has raced against the likes of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso and four-time champ Sebastian Vettel.

Six times, though, he has been the one to win the ultimate fight.

The Brit bagged the Drivers’ title in 2008 before claiming another two in 2014 and 2015 and then putting together a three-year run from 2017 to 2019.

Only twice in his F1 career has been beaten by a team-mate, losing to Jenson Button in 2011 and to Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Asked by Style who has been his ‘toughest rival’ in Formula 1, Hamilton replied: “I have driven against some very talented drivers over the years and all come with their own challenges.

“But ultimately, I am competing with myself: I am my toughest critic.”

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He added: “I’ve always been a passionate, hungry and determined racer. That will never change. But it would be crazy to say that I haven’t learned anything along the way.

“When I was younger it was more difficult for me to deal with setbacks, I’d take things personally and had a tendency to beat myself up about it.

“Now I know that every defeat is just another chance to improve.”

At 35 years of age, Hamilton is the second oldest driver on the 2020 grid.

This year the Mercedes driver is expected to be up against two 22-year-olds for the World title in Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton reckons his age has has taught him a few lessons that could give him an edge over the youngsters.

“I think sometimes people confuse aggression with passion,” he said. “To be successful in this sport you have to be passionate when racing and have the mentality to push yourself to win.

“The younger generation will always want to challenge the older drivers and leave their mark, but when speed is the key contending with experience is never easy…”

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