No one controls me now, says Hamilton

No one controls me now, says Hamilton

7 May 2013 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he is thriving in his new surroundings after coming out of "a very controlled" McLaren environment, admitting that there were times when he struggled for motivation with his former employers.

Having raced in the top echelon as a McLaren driver since 2007, Hamilton made a bold switch to the Silver Arrows at the end of 2012. As his maiden term with the outfit reaches its quarter mark, the 28-year-old is in a much more positive frame of mind.

"I have been in a very controlled environment since I can remember and it’s not until the last couple of years that I’ve come out of that control," Hamilton explained during an interview with the Daily Mirror.

"No one controls me now. I’m able to be my own man. Obviously I’ve got bosses at Mercedes in Ross Brawn, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda. I’m happier now. I can do things and I don’t have to report to anyone."

Hamilton alluded to the 2011 campaign as an example of his growing troubles at McLaren, with the former World Champion being outscored by a team-mate for the first time in his Grand Prix career following a string of mistakes and collisions.

"It was lack of energy, lack of motivation," said Hamilton. "It’s almost like depression but it’s not depression. It saps your energy and it saps your will to do want to do things. You are not able to focus on the job at hand. There was a point where I was driving and I was crashing for no reason. I was just not on the ball."

Hamilton: I like taking risks
Looking back at his departure from McLaren at the end of 2012, Hamilton says the element of risk posed by signing for Mercedes played a key role.

"Being this someone who likes adrenalin and taking risks," he commented, "I think there was a point where I weighed up the options and they were both good options but one was slightly riskier than the other and I wanted to try it. It’s a little bit like when you leave home. In fact a bit more extreme than that. Taking that leap.

"If I stayed, I would remain in that environment I’m used to my whole life. I would stay with people I’d known my whole life. I’d have been protected. If I go the other way it’s all brand new. I have to make the best use of it, build those relationships, grab it with both hands, no time to mess around. There’s no time for mistakes. It’s all on me."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 25 February 2017

  2. McLaren wary 2017 too soon for success 16:52

    McLaren wary 2017 too soon for success

    McLaren Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Neale is confident that the team will continue to make gains in 2017, but is conscious…

    F1
  3. Video: Vettel drives SF70-H at Fiorano 14:40

    Video: Vettel drives SF70-H at Fiorano

    Sebastian Vettel receives his first taste of Ferrari's SF70-H at Fiorano, after Kimi Räikkönen's run.

    F1
  4. FIA and FIM approve Barcelona changes 12:02

    FIA and FIM approve Barcelona changes

    Representatives from the FIA and the FIM have approved changes undertaken at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which hosts…

    F1
  5. Wolff: Mercedes to develop intra-team rules 10:12

    Wolff: Mercedes to develop intra-team rules

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the reigning World Champion team will develop its internal driver directive over the course of the…

    F1
  6. McLaren confirms driver line-up for testing 09:53

    McLaren confirms driver line-up for testing

    McLaren has confirmed its driver schedule for next week's opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Home…

    F1
  7. Renault RS17 makes track debut in Spain 09:12

    Renault RS17 makes track debut in Spain

    Renault's RS17 has made its track debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, two days before the start of pre-season…

    F1
  8. Overview: Mercedes begins new chapter 08:46

    Overview: Mercedes begins new chapter

    Mercedes presented the W08 at Silverstone earlier this week, a car tasked with adding to three successive 'double' title-winning…

    F1
  9. In photos: Formula 1 designs of 2017 08:42

    In photos: Formula 1 designs of 2017

    Formula 1's 2017 cars are gradually being presented through 'launch week', in the build up to pre-season testing in Barcelona.…

    F1
  10. Williams formally presents 2017 F1 car 08:10

    Williams formally presents 2017 F1 car

    Williams has formally presented its 2017 Formula 1 car, the FW40, in an online launch, a week after publishing renders of its…

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Up close with MCL32 05:32

    Video of the Day: Up close with MCL32

    Take a closer look at the McLaren-Honda MCL32, which was launched by the team on Friday.

    F1
  12. Friday 24 February 2017

  13. 18:22

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  14. Ferrari confirms line-up for opening test 18:15

    Ferrari confirms line-up for opening test

    Ferrari has communicated its planned driver line-up for the opening pre-season test session at the Circuit de…

    F1
  15. Video: Räikkönen drives SF70-H at Fiorano 16:36

    Video: Räikkönen drives SF70-H at Fiorano

    Kimi Räikkönen gives his initial reaction after driving the SF70-H for the first time at Fiorano.

    F1
  16. Sauber confirms Giovinazzi for first test 15:58

    Sauber confirms Giovinazzi for first test

    Sauber has confirmed that Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi will drive in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein during next…

    F1
  17. Ricciardo set to debut Red Bull RB13 15:05

    Ricciardo set to debut Red Bull RB13

    Red Bull has confirmed its driver schedule for next week's opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with…

    F1
  18. Video: Introducing the McLaren MCL32 14:02

    Video: Introducing the McLaren MCL32

    McLaren-Honda presents its car for the 2017 season, the MCL32, featuring an orange and black livery.

    F1
  19. Video: Hamilton 360° onboard in W08 12:36

    Video: Hamilton 360° onboard in W08

    Lewis Hamilton commentates on a shortened 360° lap of Silverstone in Mercedes' new W08.

    F1
  20. Alonso wants 'respectable' 2017 display 12:29

    Alonso wants 'respectable' 2017 display

    Fernando Alonso has played down expectations of a sudden jump in performance from McLaren-Honda in 2017, stating that the aim is…

    F1
  21. Räikkönen racks up first laps in SF70-H 11:43

    Räikkönen racks up first laps in SF70-H

    Kimi Räikkönen has completed the first laps in Ferrari's new Formula 1 car, the SF70-H, after its formal launch on Friday…

    F1
  22. Video: Ferrari's SF70-H presentation 11:40

    Video: Ferrari's SF70-H presentation

    Watch the full presentation of the Ferrari SF70-H, the team's challenger for the 2017 Formula 1 season.

    F1
  23. Boullier: McLaren can 'turn the corner' 11:32

    Boullier: McLaren can 'turn the corner'

    McLaren-Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier is optimistic that the partnership can "turn the corner" in 2017, after it unveiled…

    F1
  24. McLaren goes orange with new MCL32 11:07

    McLaren goes orange with new MCL32

    McLaren-Honda has unveiled its new MCL32, which sports a striking orange and black colour scheme, after weeks of speculation…

    F1
  25. 10:55

    Follow McLaren's 2017 car launch live!

    F1
  26. Video: Ferrari adds stickers to new car 09:32

    Video: Ferrari adds stickers to new car

    Watch as sponsor logos and decals are applied to Ferrari's new Formula 1 car, the SF70-H.

    F1
  27. 08:54

    Photos: Ferrari presents 2017 challenger

    F1
  28. Ferrari reveals 2017 car, named SF70-H 08:50

    Ferrari reveals 2017 car, named SF70-H

    Ferrari has taken the wraps off its 2017 Formula 1 challenger, called the SF70-H, during an online launch at Fiorano, where it…

    F1
  29. 08:45

    Follow Ferrari's 2017 car launch live!

    F1
  30. Bottas thrilled by first Mercedes outing 08:14

    Bottas thrilled by first Mercedes outing

    Valtteri Bottas labelled an "amazing" first experience with Mercedes after he took to the track as part of a filming day at…

    F1
  31. Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017! 08:02

    Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017!

    Have you ever dreamed of owning a Formula 1 team with your ideal driver pairing and engine? GPUpdate.net readers can now sign up…

    F1
  32. Pirelli gets title sponsorship for three races 07:42

    Pirelli gets title sponsorship for three races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli is to act as the title sponsor for three Grands Prix in 2017. Pirelli joined the sport in…

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Mercedes W08 tech 05:38

    Video of the Day: Mercedes W08 tech

    Aldo Costa (Engineering chief) and Andy Cowell (Engine chief) talk about Mercedes' new W08.

    F1
  34. Thursday 23 February 2017

  35. Hinchcliffe and Wickens set for test swap 18:45

    Hinchcliffe and Wickens set for test swap

    Long-time friends James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens will sample each other's race machinery as part of a car swap across the…

    Indy
  36. Toro Rosso's STR12 runs at Misano 18:01

    Toro Rosso's STR12 runs at Misano

    Toro Rosso's STR12 has completed its first laps after the team carried out a filming day at Misano in Italy. Toro Rosso joins…

    F1
  37. Hamilton in 'positive place' with Mercedes 15:30

    Hamilton in 'positive place' with Mercedes

    Lewis Hamilton says he feels in a positive place with Mercedes off the back of a winter of reflection, which came after a tense…

    F1
  38. Mercedes confident amid suspension row 14:31

    Mercedes confident amid suspension row

    Toto Wolff says that Mercedes is "very confident and comfortable" over the legality of its suspension system, amid a row which…

    F1
  39. Pirelli to bring backup tyres to F1 testing 14:29

    Pirelli to bring backup tyres to F1 testing

    Pirelli's backup tyres will be available to teams and drivers during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya…

    F1
  40. Bottas completes first laps with Mercedes 14:14

    Bottas completes first laps with Mercedes

    New Mercedes recruit Valtteri Bottas has completed his first laps with the team as he sampled the W08 EQ Power+ during a filming…

    F1
  41. Video: Mercedes formally presents W08 13:32

    Video: Mercedes formally presents W08

    Mercedes unveils the W08, featuring comments from Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

    F1
  42. Hamilton, Bottas to split each test day 13:09

    Hamilton, Bottas to split each test day

    Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will split running on each day of testing at the Circuit de…

    F1
  43. 11:23

    Photos: Mercedes' 2017 F1 car on-track

    F1
more news