MONZA, Italy, Sep 3 – Lewis Hamilton on Thursday urged people to continue discussing their mental health and said, based on his personal experience, that it was a strength and not a weakness for people to show their vulnerability.
The championship leader and six-time world champion said he experienced “difficult days” in his own life, explaining that this season’s run of triple-header race weekends meant that he was often lonely and grateful for contact from his family.
“I think I’m managing,” he told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix.
“I’ve got a great group of people around me. I think Covid’s given me the time to focus on communication and improving that between family and getting a deeper relationship with my mum, getting a deeper relationship with my dad, my brother, my sister and those that I work with.”
In a post on social media, Hamilton said: “There are two sides to me. 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.”
“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.
“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. Showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak. Instead, I like to think of it as a chance to become stronger.”
Hamilton is only two wins short of equalling Michael Schumacher’s record haul of 91 race wins as he heads towards his record-equalling seventh title.
He said he believed it was important that he was open and expressed himself.
“I think as competitors, it’s not the first thing you think about doing, being open and expressing yourself, but I think it’s very important, more important than what’s happening here.”
“We arrive — and you’re on TV for three days and it all looks pretty good, but the fact is you only see the tip of the iceberg. There’s all the stuff that goes on in the background.
“So that’s what I was trying to convey — that’s its ok to have the difficult days, they’re the growing days.”