Personal problems cost Hamilton title tilt in 2010
Lewis Hamilton has revealed problems in his personal life as a contributed to his failure to recapture the Formula One title in 2010 and said he was trying to banish "outside intrusions" from his mind.
While he declined to go into specifics, many believe he was referring to his much-publicised decision to sever his professional relationship with his father, Anthony, who had always acted as his manager.
"The personal life, the way things have gone have not been as smooth and as happy as they could have been in the past and to do what I do is a combination of many, many things that are surrounding you," Hamilton told the BBC. "It's not just arriving at the race track and driving, it's your appearances, it's your mood swings, it's the people that are around you - your family and your friends - and the time that you are able to give to them and the relationship that you have with them.
"As soon as some of those things are off, and you've not got all those pieces of the puzzle in place, it makes it very hard to do other aspects of your life as easily. The key I think to life is getting all those pieces of the puzzle in place."
But he went on to say he believed he was in a better position heading into 2011. "My plan right now is to smooth everything off and make sure that next year I am 100% clear in my mind and have no outside intrusions mentally.
"I look at the likes of Tiger Woods. He's had many, many things that have had an impact on him this year, but he still plays, he still pars it, he still gets birdies. But that to him is a bad year, but to other people when everything is right he is amazing."
Looking back at 2010, Hamilton admitted that fourth place in the drivers' championship was a big disappointment. "It's been a long time since I finished out of the top three of a championship in my career. Finishing fourth is not something that I'm not particularly proud of.
"We had a solid couple of bad races where I lost points which would have put me in a much stronger position to compete for the championship at the end of the year and really just throughout the year in general."