Hamilton: This is how I do it

Date published: July 4 2015 - Editor

Although he admits his Monaco defeat was "definitely the hardest" moment he's had to deal with, Lewis Hamilton feels it was a test he passed with flying colours.

The British racer was on hand in the Silverstone paddock on Friday, speaking about his season out on track, his life away from it and the criticism that he at times faces.

However, one moment this year where there was only praise for the World Champion was in his handling of his Monaco Grand Prix defeat.

Although Hamilton was on course for the victory, he was denied when Mercedes pitted him behind the Safety Car while none of his rivals ventured in.

As such, he dropped from first to third, a position he could not recover from given the nature of the street circuit.

"It was hard beyond belief," he revealed. "Definitely the hardest moment that I can recall.

"I stopped and drove back very slowly. I was trying to get my heart rate low and just gather my thoughts.

"I'm very strong in my faith and I stopped and prayed about it. Just to give me strength, give me a second to collect myself.

"It's a powerful moment to send a strong message to people that no matter what's thrown at you, you can get by. That was really the ultimate test for me.

"Kids look up to me nowadays and the way I behave will affect how those kids will behave at school or when they're driving.

"So there's bigger fish to fry. There's a more important message. Don't be selfish for that single moment."

As for those who criticise his jet-set lifestyle and his recent comments about not wanting Nico Rosberg to win the title, Hamilton says he is just being honest about who he is.

"Muhammad Ali would not have told you that he was happy coming second or losing. I don't think anyone at the top of their game would ever say that.

"Some take it worse than others. What you've seen in the past would most likely have been disappointment with myself.

"The problem is nowadays that people judge for every single thing. Everyone has an opinion.

"In this past year I've grown the mechanism to cope with those negatives and get past it quicker. This is who I am, take it or leave it."

He added: "Still today people don't fully understand me.

"A lot of fans compare, like (Jim) Clark did this or (James) Hunt did this and I'm like so…

"This is my time and this is how I do it. It's just strange how people want everyone to do the same thing as the people back in the day.

"This is how a Formula One driver behaves. This is how a Formula One driver looks. This is how a Formula One driver should be, and talk. It's just funny for me.

"There was never ever a black driver before, firstly. So I'm different to any of the ones in the past.

"I never think about what other drivers think of me. I just do my talking on the track, hoping over time my results and the way I conduct myself will earn their respect.

"I'm only 30. My 20s went by really quick and I'm trying to make sure I do as much as I can within my limits. As long as I keep it balanced, why not?

"I get energy from all these things that I do. It doesn't take energy from me."