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Hamilton 'wants to share vulnerability with Mercedes team'

Lewis Hamilton has explained why he felt it was really important to open up and share his vulnerabilities with his Mercedes colleagues, as the squad continues to struggle to get back to its former winning ways.

The team took eight back-to-back constructors championships from 2014 to 2021 with Hamilton himself bagging six of his seven drivers titles over the same period.

But last season was the first in Hamilton’s F1 career in which he failed to win a single race, as the problematic W13 proved to be no match for Red Bull and Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position in parc ferme with Kylie Minogue (AUS) Singer and Kelly Slater (USA) Surfer. 02.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

While this year’s car is looking somewhat better, and Hamilton took second place in the most recent race in Australia, it’s still been a time of introspection and self-improvement for Hamilton as he seeks to get back to the front.

“I think last year, coming off of a difficult ending of a season, everyone [was] kind of still feeling the previous end of year,” he told Australia’s Fox Sports broadcaster.

“Keeping everyone’s spirits high is how you show up,” he continued. “It’s your energy, it’s your mood when you do arrive, how you greet people and how you show the people like, ‘Okay, damn, he’s with us today. He’s on it.’

“I’m not perfect,” he added. “Some days I’m tired, I’m groggy and I’m not all there, as some people are when you just arrive into your office.

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“I think also showing vulnerability is really important,” he pointed out. “Particularly as it’s a very male-dominated sport, and a lot of these engineers don’t show emotion.

“Whether you’re on a high or you’re low, they’re calm,” he explained. “But deep down inside they can feel something. It’s showing them it’s okay to feel that, and it’s okay if you’re feeling down, share it with us, we’ll get there.

“Just having those conversations with people I think is something that I’ve really learned to appreciate,” he noted. “And I think I’ve broken through to a lot of people.

“It took a long time for me to have to do that for myself,” he admitted. “And that’s understanding about self-forgiveness, self love, which I didn’t have when I was a kid. I didn’t have [that] when I first got here.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 in the pits while the race is stopped. 02.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

“I was just so tough on myself when I failed, and you fail a million times more than you succeed,” he said.

“I have always had compassion for others out there and for things I’ve seen happening for people out there in the world, but not having any compassion for myself.

“It’s learning how to just forgive yourself and move on. Once I learned how to do that for myself, then I could do that for others.

“As soon as I was able to do that, then I think through that – particularly through that part last year, the difficult season we had last year – then I was able to then do that for those around me.

“That for me is even better than the driving part, that’s being a real teammate,” he said. “Like, ‘Come on, guys, this is where we’re going. Get off your asses. We’re gonna get there.'”

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