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Hamilton ready to make 'sacrifices' in personal life for F1

ESPNF1 Staff
March 11, 2012 « Caterham ready to push midfield | 'I've got pressure on my back' - Domenicali »
Lewis Hamilton: "Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don't affect you but in actual fact they do" © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is planning to approach the 2012 season with a clear mind after admitting he did not make enough sacrifices in his personal life last year.

For the first time in his Formula One career, Hamilton was beaten by his team-mate last year and received criticism for getting tangled up in too many accidents.

"Knowing that it had been a year when I had just thrown away points and made very silly mistakes I wasn't too devastated by it," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. "At the end of the day he [Jenson Button] didn't win the world championship. That would have been even worse."

He said he had already made changes to his approach to F1 to ensure his mind is in the right place.

"It's a real combination of things. Such as if I get a call from a friend, they say 'do you want to go out tonight for a drink before the race weekend or before the season starts', and instead of saying 'yeah let's go and do it' you'll be staying at home and training the next day. That is the kind of sacrifices you need in F1.

"Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don't affect you but in actual fact they do, they have a knock-on effect. It takes you two days to recover, you miss two days of training and your mind is somewhere else when you get to the race.

"It's the amount of travel you do, choosing the right time to travel, the right place at the right time, ahead of time. Going out to Australia and China early, to make sure I get there in plenty of time. Those kind of things. They are all sorts of things you can improve."

And he is confident a change of approach off the track will help him make better decisions on it.

"There will be times to attack and times to sit back," Hamilton added. "It's not that I have a different mindset, because I've kind of had that mindset in the past but maybe not as strong, and perhaps I haven't executed it in quite the right way. At the times when I was supposed to lean back, I have attacked. It's all about being able to make those judgements with a clear mind, and I feel I now have that again.

"Now I'm looking forwards. This year is what matters. Last year has absolutely no bearing on me, I don't care about last year. It's what's ahead of me which will define me. As I said, my mind's in a good place. When everything is right, or as my uncle says, when all the stars are aligned and you can sing, I can get some good results."