Lewis Hamilton has revealed his day-to-day struggles with mental health amidst Formula 1’s current hiatus, admitting he has considered the possibility of walking away from the sport.
A six-time world champion, Hamilton was popularly tipped to take a seventh crown in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season.
And while Hamilton maintains he will be ready to go when racing resumes, he concedes there are some moments where he is not so eager.
“I have days when I wake up and feel groggy, I don’t feel motivated to work out,” he said in a video for Mercedes’ YouTube channel. “I feel, ‘Jeez, where are we going? What’s next? Should I continue racing?’
“I think all these different things, and then I’m like ‘Damn it!’, and the next hour, or whatever, it passes, and I’m like ‘Damn! I love what I do! Why would I ever consider not continuing?'”
“Mentally it’s really about ultimately feeling good about yourself. It’s about finding a way to make sure you love yourself.
“You have to really be able to love yourself and be comfortable on your own.”
Like the rest of the world, Hamilton has been stuck at home since late March, and stresses it has been important to him that he uses the time constructively.
“I’ve been really spending time trying to take time for me, making sure that I appreciate me, acknowledging things that you do well, acknowledging when you do well, acknowledging also when you fail and you don’t do it so great. It’s OK. And not being so hard on yourself, all these different things.
“If we are not improving and growing during these days then what are we doing? You’re obviously just wasting your time sitting on your backside.
“Nothing’s going to get handed to any of us. We’ve got to go out there and get whatever it is we want, and you’ve got to want it more than the person you’re fighting against.
“I’m in pretty decent shape, but I can always be in better shape. I see things and I’m like, ‘Damn, I’ve got a bit of fat here. Shoot, I’ve got to work harder, I’ve got to go for a run’. In actual reality, I don’t really have much fat.
“But there are people out there that have these things going through their minds. You’ve just got to let go, find what it is you love and say I’m going to do it. I’m not going to let anything get in my way.”