Hamilton: ‘I don’t take my mistakes lightly’
The Mercedes driver opened up about various personal and Formula 1 issues, as well as a former rival. Hamilton fought against Sebastian Vettel years ago when the German was driving for Ferrari, so it was not easy to bet on a good friendship. But now Hamilton has very good words for Seb and also for his off-track actions, action views they share. These were the words of Lewis Hamilton regarding matters such as his moment in F1, certain mistakes or the possibility of a GP on African soil again, among other matters.
Acknowledge and accept mistakes
“The last few days have not been easy. I don’t take the mistakes I make lightly. And some people will say, ‘well, don’t be so hard on yourself’, but that’s how I have to be the driver I am today. There are so many implications of a mistake like, say, the one I just made. The team, the damage, the points for the team, the morale. So I go back to the factory and say ‘I’m so sorry’. But we win and we lose as a team and we bounce back and that’s what I really like.”
“I’m not alone on the emotional rollercoaster, I feel bad for my friends who came [Spa] and they sat there ready to run and then have to go like that, even though those fans are part of the big orange army that Max fans make up [Verstappen]”.
“I’m very proud of my fans for the bravery they have, especially with what’s happened this year, it’s not easy to stand in a crowd of opposing fans. But They’ve been amazing so I know I have to recover for them too. So that’s what I’m trying to do. It seems that generally in life we take things for granted because they are there. But it puts a lot of things into perspective.”
Of his passage on the African continent
“Seeing animals in their natural habitat was… wow. When we were in Tanzania, I felt like I was in The Lion King. Afternoon I was working out in the gym and a zebra was outside or elephants outside or you walk get out of the gym and you walk to your room and there are elephants 50 meters away and you’re like “woah” Africa has rich cities and big corporations too but I really wanted to go to the middle of the continent. I’ve seen some of these things in the past”.
“I’ve been to South Africa before, I’ve been on safari when I went to see Nelson Mandela with my family. But I’m a different person in my life now. found it really grounded, very focused. And it was fun, my friends and I had fun, we laughed a lot, to the point that sometimes when you’re working you don’t understand. So it was good to have that.
On the possibility of the return of the Grand Circus to Africa
“We are on all the other continents, why not? We go to a lot of these places to showcase these countries and their communities there, so there was no reason not to do it in Africa. I worked as hard as I could with Stefano in the second shot to try to make it happen. it’s a dream for me to have this before I stop racing, to have a race in Africa would be amazing“.
“But also my time there, just seeing children on the streets, underscores that a lot can be done for little children in communities that don’t have the same opportunities as us, whether it’s clothes, there are a lot of big organizations so now I’m looking at that to see how I can get more involved.”
About Sebastian Vettel
“With Seb, we’ve had great races in the past and I’m very proud of him. How you’ve been through your journey and how you’ve opened up and how you’ve been candid and how you’ve found things that you’ve been candid about and continue to do. I have no doubt what he plans to do in the future, he will continue to do so.”
“It’s hard to be friends when we fight face to face and one of us wins and the other doesn’t. The psychological warfare you’re going through… it’s hard. But to be able to get out of this and be such good friends and I think it’s going to continue to grow and to be best friends in the future i am very grateful. I try not to worry about it because, again, it’s out of my control,” he said.
On your programs in support of diversity and equality
“You sometimes find yourself in the awkward position of having to talk about things or being challenged. It’s definitely not easy. I’m just trying to understand a little as much as I can where I’m going. The fact is it you can’t change the world in a short time. So I’m just trying to understand where people are in different cultures and religions and all that kind of stuff. It’s not easy for young people starting out, I think at some point in their life, I hope they will get there. But I wasn’t there when I was in my twenties and I think that’s part of the journey.”
When his time in Formula 1 ends…
“I will always follow F1, even if I don’t compete. Maybe from a distance I will always be a fan of the sport. And I hope Stefano is here for a long time. I would always be on the other end of the phone and say ‘hey, why don’t you do that? You don’t do it enough. So I will always be that thorn that will hopefully spark some interesting conversations.”
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