Lewis Hamilton recalls ‘punishing’ himself over ‘mistakes’

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t lose very often these days but he admits ‘struggling’ to cope when he did as a youngster. 

The 35-year-old won his sixth Formula One World Championship last year, placing him only second to Michael Schumacher, and is hotly tipped to receive a knighthood one day should the Queen bestow the honour upon him. 

So it’s safe to say that winning comes second nature to Lewis now but it wasn’t always the case.

‘When I was younger I struggled to face defeats, I took things personally and I had a tendency to punish myself,’ he told famed photographer Rankin in a new interview. 

‘Now I know that every mistake is an opportunity to improve.’ 

Lewis added: ‘To be successful in this sport you have to run with your passion and have a mentality that pushes you to victory. 

‘It is normal for young people to want to challenge the older ones and leave their mark: but going faster than those with more experience is never easy.’ 

The sports star also recalled how he always brushed off the idea of becoming a Formula One driver as ‘madness’ but was ‘lucky’ as his father, Anthony Hamilton, ‘pushed him not to give up’. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lewis is off the tracks for a while and admits he ‘misses racing everyday’. 

In a heartfelt Instagram post, the racer explained: ‘This is the first time since I was 8 that I haven’t started a season. When you live and breath something you love, when it’s gone there’s definitely a big void.’ 

Lewis encouraged his fans to take positives from the challenging situation and said it’s the perfect time to reflect on ‘life, our decisions [and] our goals’. 

He continued: ‘Today, we see clearer skies all over the world, less animals being slaughtered for our pleasure simply because our demands are much lower and everyone staying in.

‘Let’s not come back the same as we went into this tough time, let’s come out of it with better knowledge of our world, changing our personal choices and habits. Let’s come out of this as a new us, a new reinvigorated you, fitter, healthier and more focused but above all, kinder, more generous and gracious and caring for our world and the people in it.’ 

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