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Lewis Hamilton: F1 drivers go through a 'huge psychological and emotional rollercoaster' that people don't see

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Lewis Hamilton touched on the emotional stresses an F1 driver goes through

Lewis Hamilton recently touched on some of the more psychological aspects of being a racing driver on Jay Shetty's podcast. Talking about how drivers tend to be with each other, the Briton felt that drivers tended not to be too open with each other because, at the end of the day, they had to race against each other on the track.

Hamilton also spoke about his experience and mentality while communicating with fellow drivers. He touched upon how, despite having a lot more in common than previously thought, drivers were so competitive against each other that they have a defensive mechanism already in place. There's always this psychological and emotional rollercoaster that drivers have to tackle because, at the end of the day, they have to be the best.

@LewisHamilton interview with Jay Shetty. https://t.co/fgt2a12QvP

Speaking on the Jay Shetty podcast, Lewis Hamilton said:

"We have a lot more in common than we think. But we're so competitive and a lot of us have a defence. You want to beat the guy, but you like the guy. You might like the person outside the car, but you can't show that. There's this whole psychological battle you're having with yourself and getting away with yourself a lot of the time."

He added:

"There's this huge psychological and emotional rollercoaster that you're going through that it will be really hard for people to comprehend."

Lewis Hamilton details the challenges for a driver during and just after the race

The Mercedes driver talked about how the world is often unaware of the rollercoaster of emotions that a driver goes through during a race. To make things worse, even before a driver has recovered from that emotionally intense race, a microphone is put in front of you and you have to answer questions.

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Lewis Hamilton also touched on how drivers are then forced to have this layer around themselves as they try to keep their distance and try not to get taken advantage of. Speaking about the various psychological challenges that drivers face, he said:

"[Unlike] other athletes in other sports, you can't see because we've got a helmet on, but you go through this psychological rollercoaster ride in the race and then you get out and they put the cameras right in your face. You're not prepared for that, your emotions are shot, particularly if you failed or feel like you failed, and you don't always answer the right way you wear your, your heart on your sleeve."

He added:

"People don't necessarily like that always. People take advantage of that. So then you build up all these protection mechanisms that are not necessarily you at the core, but [they're] what will be the safest thing for you."

Lewis Hamilton is not the first driver to speak up on the psychological challenges an F1 driver faces. Fellow compatriots Lando Norris and George Russell too have been vocal about the mental stress they go through.

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Edited by Anurag C
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