Hamilton: ‘Homework’ makes me driver I am

Jon Wilde
Lewis Hamilton on media day for the Turkish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has left himself without a 'plan B'.

Lewis Hamilton has opened up about the “homework” he puts in that has reaped the reward of his record-equalling seventh World Championship.

The Mercedes driver continually talks about his mission to improve both individually and in motivating the team who, like him, have completed a ‘magnificent seven’ of titles this year.

In terms of time spent away from the paddock honing his skills, the 35-year-old Briton revealed that the restrictions on normal life imposed by the global health pandemic have given him the opportunity to “study” how he can continue progressing in the car.

And that goes alongside the other off-track interests Hamilton has, which include his own fashion line and recording music.

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Asked during an interview with the Formula 1 website, after clinching his seventh title at the Turkish Grand Prix, how he keeps those plates spinning and yet is still able to keep getting better at his job, Hamilton said: “It’s not easy. With great difficulty.

“People may think it looks easy, but I tell you it’s far from it. It’s taken a long time to be as good as I am.

“I think I’ve always had the talent. I’ve probably always had the tools, but I’ve been messing around in the toolbox not knowing what to do with those tools. I’ve been fine-tuning them. And I think it’s just focusing on things.

“Every year, I write down where I’m not great, because there are plenty of places I’m not great, and then ask ‘so how do we do that?’

“I’m not great at communicating sometimes, so how can I do that better with Bono [race engineer Pete Bonnington] and the guys? How can I be more positive every time I come to work and be more uplifting rather than drag on people? In the car, how can I better understand all the buttons?

“It’s a lot of studying. I’ve done more this year than I would have done last year [because of Covid and its restrictions on life]. I never understood that when I was younger, I’d just arrive and drive.

“The amount of homework I do in the background is probably the reason you see the results I get today.”

Hamilton also reflected upon the seemingly ‘impossible dream’ of equalling Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles, which he has done so quickly having had just one Championship to his name when the 2014 campaign began.

“It wasn’t unimaginable but I think it was seen as impossible,” he said. “However, I still dreamed of it. I dreamed of going to space…I still may go to space!

“I believe in things. I think when you dream, we all come up with crazy ideas and often think that’s crazy, but there’s something there. It’s our duty as human beings to investigate what that is. Not to neglect it, but to figure out how hard it is to get there and go for it if that’s what you really want.”

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