“We are on the edge as athletes”: Hamilton reflects on mental health in competitive sport

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been one of the most consistent drivers on the grid ever since he made the switch to the Silver Arrows back in 2014.

Since then, he has won six out of a possible seven world championships. For Hamilton, maintaining this level of consistency is of utmost importance.

With his contract finally getting sorted out, at least for the entirety of the 2021 season, he will be intent on making history and becoming the first Formula 1 driver to win eight world championships.

He is currently tied on 7 with the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Mental strength is a key attribute for any sportsperson and it distinguishes the real winners, according to Hamilton.

Hamilton spoke about this in an interview relayed by RaceFans.

“Consistently coming back each year, that is one of the biggest challenges an athlete in the world faces.

“The goal is always to try and improve and not drop the ball in the other areas that you’re strong at. Focus on weak areas while still keeping the others strong.”

Variance in his own personal attributes has come into effect over the years, but adapting to change is imperative, he feels.

“And I can tell you that it’s not an easy task. There’s been times where I’ve improved in some areas and other areas have dipped a bit.

“A lot of it is also collaboration. It’s working with your engineers, challenging your engineers, having them challenge you in areas in which they feel they can see better ways of working together.”

Physical fitness is important, but perhaps what is even more crucial is maintaining one’s mental health. Hamilton attributed this to his domination.

“It goes back to energy levels, fitness and mental health. I think all these really important key factors and elements that we have to try and keep firing on all cylinders.

“Naturally we are on the edge as athletes and competitors being in competition and so that’s a very difficult balance to strike.”

In terms of competition, it is tough to look beyond Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman has failed to hit the ground running early in seasons, but with more focus this season, he will look to act as the main source of competition for Hamilton.

Added to that is the fact that Mercedes has had its fair deal of problems in pre-season testing. Red Bull, meanwhile, has looked genuinely quick with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez behind the wheels.

Will it be a straight-forward title win for Hamilton or will this be one of the most challenging seasons in recent times?

Read more: “I’ve asked them how it’s going”: Russell has established communication with Mercedes

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