- McLaren news
Hamilton looks to family and friends for support
Lewis Hamilton is hoping to build a support structure similar to team-mate Jenson Button's next year in order to avoid a repeat of his 2011 season, which he believes has been dogged by "massive under-achievement".
Hamilton has never been outscored by his team-mate in Formula One, but with two races remaining he is 38 points shy of Button in the drivers' standings. His season has been plagued by stewards' investigations and errors, and on Thursday in Abu Dhabi Hamilton admitted that problems in his personal life have not helped his state of mind.
But he rejected suggestions he is feeling pressure from the performance of his team-mate Button, insisting, "my issues have been much, much bigger than that - more personal".
"There're not a lot of people who really understand the issues I've had this year and the problems I've been going through - and those which I've been going through for the last two years," several outlets quoted him as saying. "I just can't comment on them because it's not really the place or time to do so.
"But Jenson's done a great job to get things in the right place. He's got his dad there, who's there every single race, he's got his management there, he's got his friends, he's got his girlfriend there all the time. He's in a really, really… he's got a great bubble around him, which he is really happy with.
"With that he's able to go out and perform without any worries on his mind. Which I did have at one point, and lost that bubble, and I don't have that around me at the moment. I'm working on having that for the future. The conscious and subconscious part of your mind is very important in this business."
He added: "I feel positive every time I arrive - a lot of the time I feel positive. But subconsciously you're perhaps less positive and less happy. So that's something that I'm definitely going to try to correct before next season starts."
He said he could not help but be hard on himself after a season with two wins.
"I've had a couple of races where I've excelled and then the rest of them have been so-so," he added. "I look through the whole year and look at my results -- fourth, fourth, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, wherever it is - and one or two seconds and firsts there.
"For me, that's just massive under-achievement from my own personal view. And I am hard on myself. I've always been a very hard individual and definitely probably too hard on myself, but that's just the way I am. I'm working on trying to be less hard on myself but I take it personally because this is my life. I race with my heart, this is everything to me."
Hamilton is now looking to end the season on a high in order to help that process over the winter.
"It would make a big difference if I'm able to have two clean races without seeing the stewards, and without having a penalty. On top of that, winning, I think that would be really beautiful, it would be really nice.
"I know I'm up against the toughest drivers in the business, and I know that anything can happen. I'm aware that something can happen, I'm just going to try and go out there and avoid any of those obstacles."