Lewis Hamilton has posted on social media he is “struggling mentally and emotionally” and says it is a “constant effort to keep going”.
The seven-time former World Champion, who finished 10th on his latest outing at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, made the comments in a post on his Instagram story on Thursday.
“It has been such a tough year already with everything happening around us,” said the 37-year-old Briton. “Hard some days to stay positive.
“I’ve struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time, to keep going is a constant effort but we have to keep fighting. We have so much to do and to achieve.”
Hamilton, who has won more Formula 1 races than any driver in the sport’s history, with his total of victories standing at 103, is contesting his 16th year on the grid.
But he has endured a difficult start to the new season in Mercedes machinery currently proving to be much less competitive than in previous campaigns.
Hamilton finished third at the opening round in Bahrain but only after both Red Bull cars driven by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had retired in the closing stages with reliability issues, and then scored only a solitary point in Saudi Arabia last weekend.
Hamilton had been uneasy about competing in Jeddah following a nearby missile strike during Friday’s first practice session and said after the race: “I just want to go home.”
On Thursday, in his social media post, he continued: “I’m writing to tell you it’s okay to feel the way you do, just know you are not alone and that we are going to get through this.
“A friend reminded me today, you are so powerful and you can do anything you put your mind to. We can do anything we put our mind to.
“Let’s remember to live in gratitude for another day to rise. Sending you love and light.”
Hamilton’s admission comes only a few weeks after his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had opened up about his own mental health difficulties.
Wolff had said in an interview with The Times: “High-profile people who seem to have everything but are struggling, I think we have an obligation to say we are getting help and it’s okay to get help.
“I’ve been going to a psychiatrist since 2004. I think I’ve had more than 500 hours [of therapy]. I have suffered mentally and I still do.
“Getting help is a way of overcoming my problems and it has helped me to access untapped potential. I’ve never had a problem with the stigma.
“Some of the most successful people are very, very sensitive and very, very sensitive means very, very vulnerable.”
Hamilton feels 'a long way away' from Red Bull-Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he feels the Mercedes car is 'a long way away' from Red Bull and Ferrari.