‘I find it stressful’: Lewis Hamilton reveals he dislikes driving outside of F1

Lewis Hamilton has made the startling admission that he does not like driving on normal roads because he finds it too stressful.

Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine an article published on Monday, the seven-time Formula One world champion said: “I just think that I find it stressful. I try not to do things that don’t add to my life.”

While negotiating the busy streets near Nice in his Mercedes Smart car, Hamilton told his interviewer: “Look, we’re on these roads, anything can happen.” Later, as the traffic built up, he went on to say: “This is now stressful for me. This road is crazy. So much going on here. I’m going to turn around in a second.”

Hamilton also admitted he considered quitting F1 after the season finale in Abu Dhabi last year, when a controversial interpretation of the rules resulted in Max Verstappen denying the British driver an eighth championship. “I don’t know if I can really put into words the feeling that I had,” the British driver said.

“I do remember just sitting there in disbelief. And realising I’ve got to undo my belts, I’ve got to get out of there, I’ve got to climb out of this thing, I’ve got to find the strength. I had no strength. And it was one of the toughest moments, I would say, that I’ve had in a long, long time.”

The decisions taken by the FIA race director, Michael Masi, who has since resigned, which resulted in a late safety car being deployed and the advantage handed to his fiercest rival, left Hamilton stunned and he did not talk about the incident for weeks. “I, for sure, considered whether I wanted to continue.”

The Mercedes driver is under contract with his team until the end of next year and said he has considered extending his stay in the sport beyond then. Hamilton has had to make do with fighting to be the best of the rest during this campaign, with Verstappen seemingly on course to retain his crown.

But the 37-year-old said the prospect of an unrivalled eighth championship is pushing him to carry on in the sport.

“I’ll be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought about extending,” he said. “I’m still on the mission, I’m still loving driving, I’m still being challenged by it. So I don’t really feel like I have to give it up anytime soon.”

The four-times champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement on the eve of the Hungarian Grand Prix last month but Hamilton is not likely to follow suit anytime soon.

“It doesn’t make me think about my future but it is a reminder that I am in that part of my career that people I came up with and have raced for so long will start to stop,” Hamilton said. “Before you know it Fernando Alonso will not be here and then who is there after that? I guess I will be the oldest.

“But I am thinking about how I can improve this car, what steps we need to take to get this team winning again, what is the road map to claiming another world championship and what we need to do to have everyone in this sport more aligned, in terms of diversity.”