Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

Hamilton: Singapore win proves my lifestyle is no distraction

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his Singapore Grand Prix victory proves his busy lifestyle away from the track doesn’t compromise his performance on

The world championship leader spent the week leading up to the Singapore Grand Prix touring the world to promote his new fashion range with Tommy Hilfiger. Hamilton’s hectic schedule outside F1 has prompted questions in the past about whether they are a distraction from his motorsport career, but he believes he has proven that isn’t the case having rallied from an early-season slump to take a 40-point championship lead.

“[At] the start of the year I felt great and then we tailed off and we had some struggles with understanding the car and how to utilise the equipment we had tyre-wise and balance-wise,” Hamilton told media following his win in Singapore. “And then we had a couple of so-so races and luckily we found our footing.”

“There’s always areas you can improve on which we will continue to work on. But I feel driving-wise on the track I definitely feel like my knowledge and my approach, the balance I have in my life in general I think is really good.

“I have no doubts this weekend, I know some of you asked some questions this weekend – and you actually asked them quite nicely rather than aggressive which you could have done – but I’m glad that you’ve seen this performance this weekend.

“And also for Toto [Wolff]. Toto really has been so instrumental in allowing me to bring Tommy along which has been a life-changing experience having them part of our team and having the opportunity to do what I’m doing with them, it’s been really amazing, such a blessing. And I said to Toto don’t for a second let it creep into you mind that I don’t want to win this championship more than anything. That’s my priority.

“So that’s why I was saying to you guys the other day and you can see that from my time [on Saturday] and my drive [in the race]. So that won’t change.

“People have asked me if I need to change my approach. I think we’ve got a great approach as a team. We’ve out-performed, often, a car that’s slightly better. We’ve out-performed them as a team. And we just need to keep doing that.”

Wolff said Hamilton’s performance in Singapore vindicates the team’s decision to let him pursue his other interests away from the track.

“Since six years I have heard how can you allow Lewis to fly around the world and you know what? He did it to his most extreme in the last 10 days, he was in Shanghai on the catwalk, he was in New York a couple of days later and he came here rock and roll and blew everybody away.

“Let’s just be not judgemental and allow everybody to decide how they perform best. He knows best what is good for him.”

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74 comments on “Hamilton: Singapore win proves my lifestyle is no distraction”

  1. I get a strong impression that Hamilton (like most racing drivers… most people in general, actually) performs at his best when life away from the circuit is good.

    For some drivers that’d be ‘sedate’ stuff like spending time with their family, but Hamilton likes being able to do other stuff…. so I think Mercedes definitely made the right call to give him that freedom.

    1. Looks very much like that @neilosjames, Hamilton is clearly happy with where he is at in his life, enjoying music, fashion, being free to go where he wants and racing in a top team with nothing left to prove but all the support to shine the more.

    2. We all judge him for his antics around the world. The showing off. The fronting. The constant self-promotion. But nobody can dispute that it works for him and that he’s been prodigious on track. That’s just a fact.

  2. He said it himself – the stuff he does away from F1 invigorates and GIVES him energy, not drains it.

    Nobody can just eat, sleep & breathe F1 and expect to keep the same level of motivation and enjoyment from it, it wouldn’t be healthy. Hopefully people stop getting on his case about it for a while now.

    1. Actually Rosberg did and admitted he had to in order to beat Lewis. But that was also draining so much from him that he quit straight after.

      Lewis lifestyle probably releases some of the pressure from his shoulder not being always thinking about F1. And a positive spiral is always good for confidence.

      1. “Actually Rosberg did and admitted he had to in order to beat Lewis.”

        Did Rosberg beat Lewis?

        1. 2016 world title ring a bell?

        2. @stubbornswiss 2016 Formula One Standings:

          1. Rosberg – 385 points
          2. Hamilton – 380 points.

        3. Man…. are you guys slow!

          @rpiian seems to be the ONLY one who got it.

          (Clue: No where was I talking about a world championship)

  3. Good for him! You should always do whatever that makes you happy.

  4. Maybe Hamilton’s lifestyle is a distraction and he has been underperforming!!!
    Just imagine what he would achieve if he ever settled down…

  5. What an utterly cool picture, it looks like a photo shoot. He’s the epitome of a complete package for a racing team.

    1. Agreed it’s a great package and not much is said about Hamilton’s versatility. In tennis, Brad Gilbert does a checklist of players before games. If we did the same for Hamilton, it’d be kind of like this:

      1-5 checks
      Qualifying Pace: 5 checks
      Race Pace: 5 checks
      Overtaking: 5 checks
      Wheel-to-wheel racing: 5 checks (an absolute god compared to other F1 drivers)
      Wet Pace: 5 checks (10 if allowed)
      Versatility: 5 checks (he can drive almost any car as fast as anyone and if he likes the car you’ll probably be lapped in the same car)
      Tactics: 5 checks (this is an area where his Senna-like aggression cost him dearly in the past)
      Team and Sport dynamics: 3 checks (his relationship team with the team or the ruling body can affect him greatly)
      Intimidation Factor: 5 checks (no driver wants to race with Lewis behind them – they pray for Aero limitations if that happens)

      As a driver, he really has no weakness and in some areas only the very best drivers were probably within grasp of his ability in that area.

      The only weakness he has is the relationship with his own team – he has the expectation that they will compete at his level which is actually an unreasonable expectation although Mercedes are doing an incredible job especially compared to McLaren.

      As a package, maybe 1 or 2 might have come close to him in the history of the sport.

      1. He has a multitude of weaknesess, but last few weekens, he was 5/5. Flawless as imaginable.

  6. This guy can put a stubborn Mercedes car on pole by some margin on their weakest track and finish 40 seconds ahead of the car that should have won the race while travelling around the world. I can’t even do my swimming laps properly when I sleep less than 10 hours. This guy is just mad and insane.

  7. Many top professional athletes do have Hamilton like rock-star lifestyle and it did not stop them to perform at the highest possible levels. Hamilton is a trainee in that department compared to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Cristiano Ronaldo… I think this whole lifestyle BS was launched by the media that doesn’t like Hamilton for some reasons especially when he was racing his teammate MrSmartBlondIamRichSonOfWdcThatLivesInMonacoAndEatsPotatosBeforeRaces and it was amplified further when he was beating in the WDC in 2016.
    Lewis Hamilton has a gear (The HummerTime gear) that when he pulls off only a handful of drivers in the history of the sport can go up against. The question is when or where he can pulls it and what’s the trigger of it. The “party mode” Hamilton has it in his right foot. Ferrari and Vettel needs to pull out something out of the bag in order to stop this man winning his fifth world championship.

    1. *was beaten*

    2. I remember that Schumacher had a similar gear. When the team needed a couple laps before a stop, Schumacher took off like the Millennium Falcon.

    3. His lifestyle is easy to hate by people who would love to do what he does. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s not worth caring about.

      1. Well said … +100

  8. I always encourage my teams’ side projects. If they have something motivating them, most of the time, it’s beneficial to their performance at their regular job. It’s management 101, happy that Toto has decided to go with the flow rather than combat Hamilton’s need to have a full life aside from F1.

    1. That being said, I’d rather spend available time at home with family and doing some gardening. But that’s me (and probably some of the drivers). Whatever charges your battery best works.

  9. O don’t understand why this subject was dig from the grave again. I think it was a question that was made during the press conference, but hasn’t he proved that it does not affect him? And the question comes at a time where he is leading the championship, so why bring this up again?

    1. @johnmilk Wolff’s comment at the end answers that neatly.

    2. I don’t care if is gay or passes his woman around at a swingers club with Justin Bieber holding her legs back.

      The man has passed both Prost and Senna and is on his way to beating Schumacher. Let’s see if he gets to Fangio status.

  10. Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers F1 has ever seen, in the same League as Senna and Schumi. He is a global mega star, much more famous than any other F1 driver, his lifestyle reflects that. We should appreciate being able to watch a special talent like Lewis week in week out, in a few more years he will be finished. Less of the lifestyle talk, more appreciation for the amazing performances that man gives in a car. That quali lap, truly incredible.

    1. I think he’s above Schumi in almost respect and I’m saying that not as an insult to Schumi but as a compliment because you can compare them in a way. I view Schumi as a closer match for Vettel.

      It’s harder to compare Hamilton to Senna because of the difference in periods but I simply can’t see Senna being as good as Hamilton. I think Senna might have been his equal or better in some areas but Hamilton has really raised his game in terms of his race tactics and he’s taken his wheel to wheel racing to a different level – it’s hard to fault Hamilton when there’s a collision cause he is doing his best to avoid one while still overtaking the other car. Senna had some incredible races but Hamilton has also had so many races like Senna.

  11. Hamilton would destroy Senna in the same car hands down.

    1. Lewis is one of the all time greats but Senna is still ahead.

      1. There is no point comparing who would win, but what is clear is that both drivers were a level above every other driver of their era in terms of their ability. Senna could produce other worldly single laps and drives other drivers could not, Hamilton does so too. Senna could beat rivals in a slower car, Hamilton has been doing this most of the season too.

        1. Hamilton didnt look that good in a non dominant team, often outqualified by Rosberg and beaten by Button.
          Verstappen looks miles better in a ‘class B’ team and against very capable team-mate. He’s also already beaten Lewis using a slower car.
          It’s always easy to worship the driver of the moment. Especially in an ego based and emotional sport.

          1. People are buying this narrative that Hammy has a dog of a car this year, when Ferrari has only had the best car in about 4 races, RBR only won Shanghai because of strategy (otherwise Mercedes win).

            People are still saying with a straight face that Hammy had third best car on the weekend.

            People are still saying Mercedes have a power deficit to Ferrari when Hammy blew past Kimi like he wasn’t even there at Monza.

            Verstappen was the star of Singapore. Amazing what he did in a car that’s been way off the pace all year. Ricciardo was nowhere and we know how good Ricciardo is in Singapore and in general.

    2. @noname

      Lewis needs to do a 100% stable season first before even considering him anywhere near Senna, Clark, or Fangio’s league.
      Senna would have challenged Vettel in his Red Bull years. Lewis barely could. It was left to Alonso in an inferior Ferrari.
      Also I doubt Senna, or even Mansell for that matter would have been so average early on in this season.

      1. McLaren was a dog car in 2011/2012 and the man still won some races. The only driver on the grid today who has won at least two races in every season of their F1 career. Let’s give him the credit he deserves.

        1. Button outscored him in 2011.

          1. Button outscored Hamilton in 2011 but if you take Canada away where Button ran into Lewis (good job McLaren letting him know), it would have been very close – that’s a 33-40 point difference right there between them.

            Add McLaren’s constant blunders and the South American contingent that were playing bumper cars for the entire season more than racing and Button would have been far behind Lewis’s point.

      2. All drivers have had some ups and downs. Mercedes is clearly not the best car on the grid today. No useful point made by would have could have… 6yh

      3. Alonso in a Mercedes between 2014-16 would have won 50/59 races in that span.

        Instead Hammy won 31 and Rosberg won 20.

        1. They were in the same car in 2007. Alonso, a two-time defending WDC and Lewis, a rookie. We all know how that ended.

          1. Hammy only took 60% of Mercedes race victories between 2014-16.

            That’s absurdly low for the supposed best driver of his generation.

            Alonso would win 90% of those race imo. I couldn’t imagine Rosberg getting the better of Alonso.

    3. They wouldn’t fit in the same car

      1. @johnmilk – Thank you. That brightened up my afternoon!

        1. It’s the little things @tribaltalker

  12. I dont like hamilton, but a man’s private life is his private life which he shouldnt have to defend.

    1. I bet you don’t like him cos of his private life though.

  13. Funny how reporters never critised those drivers who had children, which is a very demanding and exhausting lifestyle.
    Hill and Mansell both burning the candle at both ends and Rosberg retiring because he admitted he was neglecting them (wife and child)

  14. On balance he’s had the best car throughout this season.

    Bottas is merely Hammy’s reargunner at this point. Sacrificed in recently in Monza, in Hungary, earlier in the year as well, team forbade him from passing Hammy in Germany.

    Hammy is team leader, very secure in the fact that his teammate will be sacrificed for him.

    Would be interesting to see how Hammy would go in a Red Bull, or even in a Ferrari which has been outright best car at about 3 races this year.

    1. And what has any of that got to do with the article? Did the big words confuse you again?

      1. With a teammate allowed to challenge him and without the best car, I think you’d see Hammy’s lifestyle catching up with him — as it did in 2016 when he had 7 botched starts, crashed in Baku qualifying, butchered Bahrain qualifying, spat the dummy in Shanghai, took out his teammate with a big error in Spain.

        1. No evidence to suggest that those isolated incidents were a net affect of his off track activities. Plus to put it into context HAM still won the most races, still won the pole trophy and only lost the title on the final race. Mercedes still won the constructors so all in all not that bad a year considering.

          This season has shown that Mercedes and Ferrari cars are almost equal, where the driver is actually making the difference. Statistically HAM is a lot faster than BOT and there’s really been only one opportunity this season where BOT was on the pace to challenge HAM.

          Plus if there has been issues in the past with HAM’s off track activities that brought ruin to Mercedes title hopes then they would’ve been highlighted by now.

  15. I follow F1 intently and have long before Hamilton started and I have no idea about his supposedly disruptive “lifestyle,” and I find the whole thing a little baffling. I understand that he has celebrity friends. Well, he’s a celebrity. He makes music on the side? I’ve never heard it, and good for him to have a hobby. He goes to fashion week? All kinds of C-list randos with a couple million to rub together go there to be seen. I don’t hear anything about drugs, infamous destructive partying, and he seems to have one girlfriend at a time. The one story I recall about his partying was when Adrian Sutil glassed a guy at a club where he was with Hamilton and got mad that Hamilton snitched on him. When I read the F1 press, I see him driving, testing, attending team events, and generally doing what his contract would say. He’s never AWOL on his mega yacht. When you compare his known extracurriculars to that of a a middling footballer or NBA player, he seems like a wall-flower. Maybe I should be reading UK tabloids?

    1. I suppose it isn’t typical of an F1 driver.

  16. Keep doing whatever it is you do Lewis at this rate he will beat Schumacher and Fangio for the greatest of all time.

    1. I’m not sure about that. You can’t compare him to Fangio, and Schumacher has a far higher pre-Mercedes win percentage despite not getting the best car on the grid until his 11th season in F1.

      Schumacher pre-Mercedes record
      Starts: 248
      Wins: 91

      Lewis Hamilton:
      Starts 223:
      Wins: 68

      Keep in mind that Hamilton has been in cars capable of race wins since his first year in F1. Only truly bad car was in 2009. Had the best car on the grid in his first season of F1. Took Schumacher until 2001 (after debuting in 1991).

      Also, the Mercedes was the most dominant car in the history of the sport 2014-16, much more dominant than the 2002 and 2004 Ferrari. Plus he had the superior car in 2017. Ferrari was only strongest at about 4 tracks.

      Despite having the greatest car in the history of the sport 2014-16, only won 2/3 championships. Teammate won a significant amount of races in that period.

      1. Lewis is not finished yet.

      2. It’s simply not a level playing field comparison between Schumacher and Hamilton or MSC and any other driver… Schuey was the best of his generation, but had a set of circumstances never seen before or since. Hamilton’s achievements, in my opinion, have already eclipsed Schuey’s, because Hamilton has neither received, nor asked for, special treatment and number one status.

        There was literally dozens of races in the Schumacher Ferrari years where we all knew before heading to a an F1 weekend that the result was effectively decided ahead of time unless something odd happened. That has never been the case for Hamilton, he has always had to work against a team mate who was allowed to fight him. What’s more, that is how he wants it. Very different from Schumacher.

        1. because Hamilton has neither received, nor asked for, special treatment and number one status.

          Hammy has clear number one status. He has routinely been used as Hammy’s rear gunner this year and last, was ordered not to compete with Hammy in Germany, has had his strategy sabotaged time and again to help Hammy.

          When Rosberg left, Mercedes didn’t seek the best driver they could find, they sought the driver they thought would be submissive and no threat to Hammy (can’t have a situation like Rosberg matching Hammy).

          1. ‘Anon’

            Hamilton has never asked for no 1 status. Of course in a title battle well into the season a team will always start to use the other driver to help, that’s a no-brainer. It’s totally different to the situation Schuey had which was the second driver in the team was there to basically test parts and move aside for him when required. Can you even begin to imagine Schuey moving aside like Lewis did at one race for Bottas last season? No, neither can I.

            You, I and everyone else have no idea whatsoever how many races Alonso would have won in the hybrid-era Mercedes. The one solid factual bit of info we do have is that Lewis got the better of Fernando in 2007, in Lewis’s rookie season.

            You cartwheels you undertake to repeatedly attempt to deny Hamilton his due credit are truly ridiculous.

      3. Man, from 1992 to 2006 Schumacher always had cars capable of wins races, what are you talking about??

        1. Schumacher debuted in 1992.

          1. @bcoliver

            1992 was his first full season. His debut was Spa 1991.

          2. sorry! But if I’m not mistake, Nelson Piquet won a race in 1991 so you can’t say Schumacher debuted in a dog of a car.

          3. It was a different era where maybe half the field would finish the race due to relatively poor reliability and the cars being much harder to drive. Now an 18 year old can jump in and be on the pace.

      4. Another thing, anon, is you don’t simply get to erase Schuey’s Mercedes record because it makes your stats look better. That’s not how is works.

        Your willingness to expend tremendous effort to never give Lewis Hamilton due credit is really something to behold, but get a grip.

        1. I don’t think you can count the Mercedes record. He came back at 40 years of age after sitting out for three years. The cars he came back to had little resemblance to the ones he drove when left.

          Drivers skills drop off in their mid-30’s if competing every week. Schumacher had an additional 5 years on the clock (was nearly 43 when he retired for good), and his skills had atrophied as he sat out for 3 years.

          However, he was on pace with Rosberg by 2012 at the grand old age of 42.

          Hamilton’s only 33. If he sat out the next three years retired then came back at 36, he’d be nowhere.

          1. Ok check back when Hamilton is 42 then. He might have well over a hundred wins by then ;-)

          2. I suspect if Hamilton retired for three years and then came back, he would be very much in the mix, a bit like Lauda when he returned in 1982. If Hamilton lost a teeny bit of outright pace, that would be less of an issue for him as clearly the fastest driver of this, or possibly any generation.

            I think though that when Hamilton retires, he will be gone for good and likely won’t even visit F1 events. That will be happy times for you, anon.

  17. No doubt he is the best driver on the grid hands down. How about a round of applause for the power unit engineers and their voodoo magic. How many “Party Modes “ does that engine have?

    Ferrari and myself would like to know.

  18. Me: Hamilton’s comments proves he talks too much about his lifestyle and cares too much about other peoples’ opinions

  19. Are we still talking about Lewis’s lifestyle and how it doesn’t distract from his driving?

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