Lewis Hamilton admitted he found it harder to focus on racing after clinching this year’s championship title with three races to spare.
In an interview with the BBC, Hamilton said: “You still have to commit and work super-hard but for sure you’re kind of like ‘my job is done, I wish the season was over, wish I could go on holiday’.”
“But you still arrive at the next races, there’s a lot of people in this team that continue to work, you’ve got to match them. It wasn’t as successful as the rest of the year but still second in those races was not too bad.”
Hamilton also said he felt satisfied to have won the title again despite criticism of his lifestyle away from the track.
“Up until this year I would never really go out,” he said. “I think last year I went out three times, I was just so focused. But it’s too extreme. This year’s been just a real transition for me.”
“My friends will be like ‘hey, do you want to come out for a drink or just some to dinner or do something?’ and in the past I’ll be like ‘no, I’ve got to do training’. Now I make sure I do it and I do the training.”
“You’ve got to have the balance and this year it’s been amazing. It’s been the most successful year of my whole career. It was just great that when people were writing those stories I would turn up and I would perform. So I’m going to continue.”
However Hamilton revealed he has been working on his music projects into the small hours during race weekends.
“It’s coming along slowly,” Hamilton said about his music. “I worked on it a lot this year, I have a lot of music stuff that’s actually ready. Someone’s going to hear something soon.”
“I have a team of people, my music people travel around with me so on the race weekends we finish at the track like six, seven pm, I go straight to the hotel and I’ll be in my room writing and recording. We put beds up and that’s where we do it. We record until 1am in the morning, then I get up and I’ll be driving the next day. It’s crazy.”
Last week Hamilton’s former team principal Ron Dennis claimed the ex-McLaren driver would not be able to do many of the things he is now allowed to if he was still with his team. Hamilton revealed that includes the type of sports he is able to do.
“I do everything: I wakeboard, I ski, I skydive,” said Hamilton. “I kind of took the ‘dangerous sport’ clause out of my contract.”
“I try and do it with a nice balance. I don’t want to go through my whole Formula One career only driving, but of course I don’t want to be sitting watching someone else driving my car so I’m very cautious.”
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- A unique atmosphere: Going to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review
63 comments on “Hamilton ‘wished season was over’ after title win”
3rd December 2015, 9:44
If he can win titles and do all the stuff on the side, i’d say go for it. I never understood what people have against his personal life. He can do whatever he wants.
3rd December 2015, 9:52
Probably jealousy for a lot of them, even if they don’t realise it.
3rd December 2015, 12:07
I personally couldn’t care less about his private life, so it would be nice if there was less public statements about his multi million cars or jets, less lousy hashtags and more racing.
He plays Bernie’s game to the perfection. But I guess some people like that and identify, fine.
3rd December 2015, 12:19
I agree with you @spoutnik. I don’t care about drivers’ private life. I want to see competitive and thrilling racing. The problem is when nothing interesting happen on the racetrack then media must fill the news with something.
3rd December 2015, 14:01
So you want to see competitive and thrilling racing but you are fine with a top driver that should have been providing that, coming to the track unprepared because of his private life.
And to think posters such as Jayd in recent days has posted about a million words decrying Merc for ‘staging’ NR wins by not doing everything possible to help LH win by giving him his suggested ‘better strategies’ that never even did exist but in LH’s and his fans’ minds, when LH hadn’t even earned that on or off the track.
3rd December 2015, 16:55
Yes, it is Mercedes’ problem not mine especially as I am cheering for their current main rivals. The other thing is a professional racing driver should do nothing what negatively effect his performance. That’s obvious. But I agree Rosberg deserved every November win. He also should have won in Russia if not for a car problem and has beaten Hamilton in Austin until ‘gust of wind’ allowed Lewis through.
3rd December 2015, 17:38
@robbie: Can you prove Hamilton’s private life is affecting his racing?
4th December 2015, 10:28
Given he has won twice as many (and more than half the total) races these past two years, I think Robbies head would explode if he ‘really’ prepared….
4th December 2015, 16:20
well, Lewis is one good start, a DNF and a gust of wind away from having lost 6 races in a row…. And if they went 1-2 in favor of Rosberg in those 3 races, the points tally at the end of the year would have been Ros 361 to Ham 360.
5th December 2015, 12:11
Excuse me? I also said about a million words that I did not think it was staged… I just was trying to say the strategist should have noticed the problems they had by keeping him out earlier than they did. Stop taking things out of context.
3rd December 2015, 13:50
You should follow his Instagram account. It is very refreshing and stands out among the other drivers. It doesn’t affect his job that much because he is careful, just like your private (public in HAM’s case) doesn’t affect your job that much.
4th December 2015, 15:37
I really do not like his general public persona but I love to see and hear about his road cars, it has made me like him a lot more since he started doing that. If people do not like all that stuff just do not read the articles and at the end of the day it’s great to watch him race. To me I like when I was a kid and I had no idea what the drivers actually looked like, mention an F1 drivers name and I had an image of them in the car and their helmet colours. I try to do the same now.
3rd December 2015, 9:45
I’m not convinced that winning the WDC early caused Hamilton to lose the final 3 races.
Even before he won his 3rd WDC in Austin, he was losing his advantage over Rosberg. In Russia, Rosberg dominated qualifying but retired very early on in the race (which I suspect he would have won). In USA, Hamilton barged Rosberg off the circuit on lap 1, then Rosberg preceded to overtake Hulkenberg, Kvyat, Hamilton & Ricciardo and pull out an 11 second lead. Only an unfortunate safety car followed by a “gust of wind” prevented him from winning that race.
Rosberg’s throttle failure in Russia and silly mistake in USA was masking the fact that Hamilton had lost his pace advantage over his teammate. What Rosberg did in the final three races of the season is something that he had been threatening to do since Russia: dominate from the front; it’s just that up until Mexico, it never quite came together for him.
Had things gone a little different in those two races, we could have so easily seen the season end with 5 consecutive Rosberg pole positions translated into 5 consecutive victories; and I don’t care what either Hamilton or his fans say, but that would have made the alarm bells go off.
On another note… Vettel didn’t lose focus in either 2011 and 2013, when he wrapped up the title as dominantly as Hamilton did with a less dominant car.
3rd December 2015, 9:59
Agreed. Very well said. And I was surprised with that sentence: “You still have to commit and work super-hard but for sure you’re kind of like ‘my job is done, I wish the season was over, wish I could go on holiday’.” That’s very weird, no? Is it just getting the titles for him? Doesn’t he like driving and racing and stuff? Though I must say there is not much “racing”, so if that was the reason I could understand a bit… But it’s like the complete opposite of what Vettel has done. He would reach to a new level of cruel domination after the title was wrapped up.
3rd December 2015, 10:06
I read that statement more like that winning the WDC was really hard work, and that he just wanted a break. In his previous two winning campaigns he has been able to just turn off and relax as they were both won at the last round – this time he had to keep plugging away.
3rd December 2015, 10:31
How do you relax when you are behind, but get more stressed when you are so comfortably ahead?
3rd December 2015, 12:11
“turn off and relax” after the last race, when he sealed the championship (not during the final races, when he was still fighting and 100% motivated for the title).
3rd December 2015, 12:28
I’m not to thrilled when drivers refer to racing as a job (‘just doing my job the best I can’). I makes them sound unpassioned, even a bit unmotivated. Very curious how he will do next year (and what kind of music he is making!).
3rd December 2015, 10:07
It is a good example of how exhausting fighting for a title can be and how very well Vettel did that four years in a row and improved every single year where as Hamilton is tired after two and even stagnated more than improved.
3rd December 2015, 10:32
3rd December 2015, 10:53
Vettel never had a really competitive team mate with equal status, so it was much easier for him.
Lewis has a fight in his own team every single race
3rd December 2015, 12:41
Let’s agree Vettel never had a competitive team mate for argument sake, what Vettel had was that other teams could challenge on race day!
That is more mentally draining than fighting the same guy!
3rd December 2015, 13:19
Vettel’s cars tend to get better and better and his teammates tend to get worse and worse over the years. And I’m not talking about him getting better cars and worse teammates, I’m talking about STR 2-3 transforming into world beaters and Webber turning into doormat and below average in people’s minds. If you want better perspective, read old news and comments. It’s like day and night. Humankind has such weak memory…
3rd December 2015, 14:02
Interesting – I rather think that Vettel got to be as good as he is because he had a competitive team mate that pushed him on to massive improvement.
Let’s not forget that Webber “should” have been WDC and brought himself undone more than got beaten by Seb. However in the next season a super motivated Seb hit the tracks almost in a different world from the rest of the drivers.
Much the same with Hamilton – Rosberg has kept him honest and nightly motivated until he’d won the WDC.
3rd December 2015, 14:46
You mean apart from the teammate who led the WDC going into the final race of 2010? The year Vettel won the title?
3rd December 2015, 11:37
Now if only Vettel had tougher opposition from his teammate. The moment he got opposition from Ricciado he crumbled.
OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
3rd December 2015, 12:20
@realstig I guess he crumbled before racing Dan. I think it was almost losing idol, friend and mentor Schum what crumbled his season.
3rd December 2015, 13:20
How do you cope with the stress of constantly hating a person?
3rd December 2015, 13:28
@realstig Webber was good enough to push Vettel, it’s people hating Vettel so hard that they just always conclude Webber was terrible too.
3rd December 2015, 17:57
29 wins for Vettel against 3 for Webber doesn’t make it much of an exaggeration to say that Webber was poor competition after 2010. Before then he was obviously a much tougher proposition, but I would say that the extent to which we pushed Vettel after was slim at best.
3rd December 2015, 17:58
“He” rather than “we” obviously.
3rd December 2015, 10:09
While you rightly mention that he was losing his advantage over Rosberg before winning the title, the intent was still there. He made a tough move at Suzuka and barged wheels in Austin. Those moves show motivation and intent. And that has decidedly gone down after winning the title.
I mean he has been complaining about strategy. A driver who always said that overtaking on track is the sweetest.
3rd December 2015, 10:23
That’s probably because he never found himself on the inside with Rosberg on the outside of a corner at any time in the final 3 races of the season.
3rd December 2015, 11:11
Good point there @kingshark. And its exactly what irked Hamilton in the last 3 races more than the ones before those – that he never saw a chance to overtake Rosberg.
When you think about it, its admireable that Rosberg got away from those kind of feelings (surely he must have felt frustrated as much with always trailing Hamilton especially in the early part of the season) and found a gap where he could get the upper hand with the same car.
3rd December 2015, 10:33
That’s certainly true that Austin and Suzuka made a big difference. If he didn’t win those races, with perfect reliability Rosberg would have won the championship this season.
3rd December 2015, 10:55
If Lewis was not taken away his win at Monaco from a strategy wich benefitted Rosberg, and if he had not retired in Singapore…
Had both no DNFs Lewis stilll would be champion
3rd December 2015, 11:13
Well, but you can’t compare technical issues like Sochi with a stupid strategic call where the driver was clearly involved in the mistake. And just look from what position Hamilton had that DNF in Singapore, if he would have one, that race it cost him hardly anything.
3rd December 2015, 13:23
Of course I assumed perfect reliability for both Mercedes drivers. And I don’t think giving those points back to Hamilton for Monaco makes sense. But even if you did that, then Monaco would be the decider along with Suzuka-USA starts.
3rd December 2015, 12:38
Well said and when people look back, this is what the difference between Hamilton and Vettel would be.
Vettel a consummate professional, it’s as if he finds new energy after winning the title.
Hamilton say otherwise and does something else on track, he tried every chink in his armour to beat Rosberg and he failed, but he fails to realise what he is saying sounds so unprofessional and silly at best!
3rd December 2015, 14:53
@kingshark – Nice points all.
I’m not anti-HAM or pro-ROS and do not believe any of the crazy conspiracies for or against either. And the counterfactual hypotheses are just that and can’t be proven as they did not occur. That said, to your point, had Rosberg’s car not failed him in Russia and had he won there and US, the final WDC standings would have been HAM 367 and ROS 354 (someone will check my math I’m sure). Which shows how close it really was by the end of the season.
For those who prefer what happened over what could have happened or are HAM fans, I’m not saying that what could have happened proves that ROS was better this season. HAM won fairly and was better for the bulk of the season, no question. But the last 6 races do indicate that ROS got on top of his issues this season and in this car and while it was just too late, if he can stay on top of his issues he can at least push HAM next year if not make it a thrilling fight between the two. And regardless of your allegiance, I should hope we all want that.
3rd December 2015, 17:59
Don’t his comments make you think that he’s just glossing over the fact that Nico beat him thoroughly the last few races? He usually is so sickly sweet about how great the car is and how great the team is but since Nico came on so strong, he’s done nothing but complain about how the balance is off and nothing is feeling comfortable or right to him. Sounds more like sour grapes to me. He’s really been trying to beat his team mate. He just hasn’t been able to. Yes, the team strategies had something to do with it but still. He’s young still. This lifestyle he’s living is manageable right now. In another few years it will take a toll and it will impact his ability to drive well and win. I guess we’ll see how long he can pull it all off.
3rd December 2015, 23:58
Hamilton has not been the same force since the tyre pressure issue was brought up. It seems to have effected him more than anyone.
3rd December 2015, 10:06
I think Hamilton should continue all his other passions. It will help more crowds to races and switch more TV sets to F1.
Bernie is bang on when he says that Lewis is the best champion.
From a racing perspective, I still believe that Lewis has achieved what he probably wanted for a long long time, 3 world titles. Even in the past, he has showed no desire to emulate Schumacher and he has barely spoken about Prost. It has always been his dream to match Senna. And he has done it. He has spoken more about music and about building his own brand than about achieving more titles. Hence, I won’t be surprised if his motivation is still little low in 2015
3rd December 2015, 10:36
“Lewis the best champion” doesn’t have any positive affects on declining viewership figures. I guess you also forgot about Ecclestone’s next statement that Hamilton was going over the top… Very dependable that guy is!
3rd December 2015, 10:57
Still Silverstone is sold out, the viewrs numer in GB is not going down, but At Germany they hit a new low at AbuDHabi GP. IMO the situation without Hamilton would be much worse
3rd December 2015, 12:33
Lol, Silverstone is always sold out, and thats not because of Hamilton but due to its timing and the amount of tourists in the UK as of the period!
3rd December 2015, 12:37
@Sabine Viewership has gone down 5.2% in the UK despite Hamilton’s championship.
3rd December 2015, 12:37
‘my job is done, I wish the season was over, wish I could go on holiday’… Wait, what?
Is this Hamilton saying this stuff??? Hamilton?
That’s like implying that wins and races aren’t important if the championships are over. That’s something Senna never said, so how is Hamilton “carrying the baton for him?”
That’s like saying that Hamilton (and racing drivers in general) race with their primary target to amass points. Numbers. Where’s the Hamilton who showed up in 2007 and scorched the field, with his whole being focused on “racing”, not “numbers”? Where?
3rd December 2015, 12:49
You do realise you’re not meant to take that sort of thing literally, right?
3rd December 2015, 12:50
“However Hamilton revealed he has been working on his music…”
3rd December 2015, 14:23
3rd December 2015, 12:51
What Lewis does away from the track is no-one’s business. It obviously works for him. It’s also obvious that whoever has a go at him is jealous.
Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
3rd December 2015, 13:47
I disagree when it comes to race weekends, as it seems unprofessional. I don’t he should be up to the small hours writing and recording his music, he should be resting and preparing for the next day.
I know if I was Toto, for £100m or whatever it was, i would expect full 100% concentration on the task at hand for the entirety of any race weekend.
Anything outside of race weekends and promo days is Lewis’ prerogative, but at that price, Merc are paying for nothing less than a fully focused, well rested, and undistracted pilot from the moment he lands on Tuesday to the moment he takes off again on Monday.
3rd December 2015, 14:13
@fullcoursecaution I agree. While what LH does away from the track is indeed no-one’s business, at least until LH tells the world what he has been up to, it didn’t ‘obviously work for him’ as he lost the last 3 races and handed Nico theoretical momentum.
Either LH didn’t ‘budget’ his time and energy for a full season of races, or he won the WDC with 3 to go and decided his job was done and forget about the team part. It’s early holidays for me and nobody else on the team. Oh well, now that the season is over the rest of the team that paved the way for him can start theirs when LH should have been with them all the way, by contract if nothing else.
3rd December 2015, 17:41
And if Hamilton’s work on his music was affecting his driving, Toto would clamp down on him; since that hasn’t happened, it can’t be affecting him that much, if at all.
3rd December 2015, 21:41
I am not a Hamilton-fan, and I highly disagree that drivers free-time-activities are not part of their teams business. However, making music is a good choice, as it is a non-injury-correlated free-time activity, so it won´t make him miss races (Montoya, “tennis”), lose championships (Webber, Mountainbiking) or end his F1-career early (Kubica, rallying). So as long as he doesn´t force anyone to actually listen to his stuff, Hamilton making music is fine.
3rd December 2015, 13:49
When LH admitted in 2011 that off-track distractions were costing him on the track, and that is the year Button bested him, my main thought was how terrible and maddening that must sound to those within the team who are spending hundreds of millions to put a car under him, which in turn provides him his fame and fortune, and this is his level of gratitude.
I feel the same way now. Perhaps the team is fine with how things played out in the end and it’s no big deal as they have another rooster in Nico and LH did after all win the WDC. However, I too find it quite ‘un-Senna’ like, and the price LH has paid is he has handed Nico momentum, and shown the world that it is not so easy to pass equivalent cars after all and that Nico is indeed closer in performance than he appeared throughout the season, but for dirty air in some cases.
So I don’t know if LH, by admitting this, is just trying to get us and Nico to believe he only won because he (LH) was distracted, but I find it quite rich that he would come to the track only to wake up and realize the rest of the team wasn’t partying with him and that they had their noses just as much to the grindstone as usual, and then he would go out on the track and cry for a better strategy from the team to beat the one driver who was beating him on merit, and then throw them under the bus after the race for not giving him a preferred strategy which he knew better about than them, when he hadn’t earned it off the track or on. Perhaps it’s no surprise he got shut down.
LH is one pretty entitled dude, as one who will not hesitate to point out his poor Stevenage background that should have him far more humble and genuinely grateful than he acts. He may have hit some of Senna’s numbers, but the only thing about LH that reminds us of Senna is when he or his fans point out his admiration for a true Great. Methinks it’s all gone to his head, but then I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise as someone who is more concerned about building a brand than about the blokes running his team. He had ‘done his job’ after all, so I guess there is an ‘I’ in team.
4th December 2015, 0:09
As said his job was done, He won the drivers championship, Mercedes won the team championship and the other driver won the last three races, so Mercedes cannot be too upset about it. He has won them two drivers championships so far, and when the championship fight gets closer with Ferrari or other teams in the future who will Mercedes call upon to lead the fight for the championship the 3 time champ or Rosberg??
3rd December 2015, 16:05
Good that Hamilton came up with the excuse within a week of the season getting completed. Now he can fully focus on his music.
3rd December 2015, 17:46
I think it’s good that Lewis has more richness in his life than driving round ultra precisely in circles (which would bore me very quickly) and cool that one reason for the long contract negotiations was getting the ‘dangerous sports’ clause deleted.
It’s good for the sport if it knocks a little bit off his performance. Not sure if it does but why aren’t Rosberg’s and Vettel’s fans more grateful? Do they resent how he makes the sensible family men look boring and un-Hunt-like ? ;)
Neel Jani (@neelv27)
3rd December 2015, 18:31
I am writing this half-heartedly as I am genuinely confused but after reading Lewis’s comments, immediately it reminded me of COTD featured in today’s round-up by @Xtwl about Mercedes vs Red Bull dominance.
It made me wonder whether Lewis would have had a much harder time had there been a stiffer challenge from Ferrari and Vettel with his current “routine” of his life? Has he got carried away by the fact that he can still perform well in spite of his lifestyle and more forgetting the fact as to how strong Mercedes has been? I really saw a much chilled out Lewis in 2015 than I did in 2014 and if that’s the case, will he continue to have the same success if Ferrari and Vettel or somebody else are right on the money? I just wonder!
All I’d say is…make hay while the sun shines!
3rd December 2015, 21:29
@neelv27 I didn’t even know I had COTD.
5th December 2015, 1:01
Who cares? I watch F1 for racing. If I want gossip (which I never do) I’ll pick up a rag mag.
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