World Champion Lewis Hamilton says “showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak” as he opened up on the “lonely” nature of operating in a bubble in the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton has claimed five victories from seven grands prix this year to lead Red Bull rival Max Verstappen by 47 points in the championship.
Hamilton, as with the remainder of the paddock, is operating in a bubble – under distancing protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic – and has also opted to stay in a motorhome at the circuit during grand prix events.
Writing in an Instagram post ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Hamilton revealed the “difficult days” endured in 2020, as he strives for a seventh world title.
“There are two sides to me,” Hamilton wrote. “First, the one you see on TV. The competitive, cut throat, hungry racer in me that comes out when I close the visor.
“When the visor is down I come alive, all my fears, insecurities, and doubts are cast aside and my focus kicks in and will not break until the job is done.
“It feels like I get to have the superpowers I always dreamed of having, but behind the wheel.
“Second, there’s just me. Someone who is figuring life out day by day, just like you. Trying to find inner peace, manage time, balance work and life, finding time for family and friends, working on managing my emotions, and trying to find time for the other things I am passionate about.
“Like many of you, I’m just trying to be and do my best in everything.
“I also have a lot of difficult days. Especially in the bubble that we’re currently in. You get lonely, you miss your friends and family, and with back to back race weeks it means there’s not much time for anything but work.
“So I’m grateful for the ones closest to me for helping me to keep a balance, even if it’s just through text, phone or FaceTime.”
Hamilton added that opening up on emotions is “a chance to become stronger” rather than a perception of weakness.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s never a bad thing to ask for help if you need it, or to tell somebody how you feel,” he commented.
“Showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak, instead, I like to think of it as a chance to become stronger, and better than we were.
“Wherever you are in the world, I hope and pray you know you are incredible, gifted, talented, beautiful and strong, and no matter what anybody says, you can do almost anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is believe and do the work.”