Hamilton on ‘painful’ Abu Dhabi, 2022 struggles: ‘I’m going to rise again’

Lewis Hamilton addresses the “painful” Abu Dhabi GP, his difficult 2022 season, and his winning mentality in a Sky Sports F1 exclusive ahead of the British GP: watch full interview during our race show, with build-up from 1.30pm and lights out at 3pm

Last Updated: 02/07/22 6:39pm

Lewis Hamilton has opened up on Abu Dhabi and his 2022 season in a Sky Sports F1 exclusive for the British GP
Lewis Hamilton has opened up on Abu Dhabi and his 2022 season in a Sky Sports F1 exclusive for the British GP

Lewis Hamilton has vowed he is “going to rise again” in Formula 1, telling Sky Sports why he is motivated to bounce back from last year’s “painful” Abu Dhabi GP title defeat and his difficult 2022 season.

Hamilton was denied a record eighth world championship last December in hugely controversial circumstances against Max Verstappen after an incorrect application of the rules from then race director Michael Masi, and has struggled so far this season in an underperforming Mercedes car.

Hamilton, speaking to BADU young people in a Sky Sports F1 exclusive, reflected on Abu Dhabi and how he handled himself afterwards as he gave a composed interview and sportingly shook Verstappen’s hand.

The full Hamilton interview will be part of our race show for Sunday’s British GP, with build-up starting at 1.30pm before lights out at 3pm.

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Hamilton opens up on how he deals with abuse and shares his advice for young people who may be going through similar situations
Hamilton opens up on how he deals with abuse and shares his advice for young people who may be going through similar situations

“My dad put a value inside me about never giving up, and the easiest thing to do is to give up,” said Hamilton, who starts fifth and is seeking a record ninth Silverstone win. “But it’s not how you fall, it’s about how you get up.

“In that moment for me, no matter how painful it was – and it was so, so painful – just knowing there would be a kid watching… me shaking his hand just shows there is strength within regardless and I’m going to rise again.”

Hamilton said he was conscious that “there will be a young kid watching” and that they could be struggling with “bullying in school, which I also experienced, just [being] unsure whether it’s ever going to end, how to confront it, how to overcome it”.

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Experience the controversial conclusion of the Abu Dhabi GP from on-board Max Verstappen and Hamilton’s cars and listen to the team radios, including Hamilton saying the race had been ‘manipulated’
Experience the controversial conclusion of the Abu Dhabi GP from on-board Max Verstappen and Hamilton’s cars and listen to the team radios, including Hamilton saying the race had been ‘manipulated’

He then explained he is carrying that same mentality amid a below-par 2022 season. Hamilton has yet to win a race this year and is a distant sixth in the championship, 98 points down on leader Verstappen.

“I’ve come back into a season and I’ve been struggling all year, and I don’t know why that is the case this year,” he said. “But no matter what I’m working to try to be a better team-mate.

“There’s all these other areas I’m strengthening that I didn’t even realise I would have time to do.”

Hamilton, F1’s most successful driver with seven titles and 103 wins, also said he “learnt more from failures”.

“My whole life I’ve focused on… winning is everything, work towards winning,” he said. “And so anything but, at times, has felt like a failure.

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Hamilton shows support for the W Series on Instagram ahead of the British Grand Prix
Hamilton shows support for the W Series on Instagram ahead of the British Grand Prix

“I would say that actually I’ve learnt more from the failures. The success and everything is a beautiful thing but you learn way, way more when you stumble, and fall.

“I used to dwell on things for such a long time, but now I’m able to move on and just apply myself better next time. Work harder, dig deeper, study more – whatever it may be.”

BADU are a community organisation based in east London and work with young people in the local area, building positive experiences through sport, mentorship, training and work opportunity. Sky has partnered with BADU since the launch of the Sky Cares community programme in 2019.

Hamilton aiming for ‘special’ British GP

In an upgraded Mercedes car for the British GP, Hamilton had hopes of an unlikely pole and a shot at a first win of the season and a record ninth victory at Silverstone.

However, the home favourite struggled at the end of Q3 and managed only fifth, with Carlos Sainz on pole.

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Carlos Sainz joined Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok at the SkyPad to assess the Ferrari driver’s maiden pole lap around the Silverstone track
Carlos Sainz joined Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok at the SkyPad to assess the Ferrari driver’s maiden pole lap around the Silverstone track

“We’ve got a great race car and fifth isn’t the worst place to start, in previous races I’d have been happy with P5 but it’s the British Grand Prix, you’re hopeful for more,” said Hamilton.

“I’ll try and pull something special for [the race], I really appreciate the support here – the fans were amazing.”

Provisional grid for the British GP
1) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Lando Norris, McLaren
7) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
8) George Russell, Mercedes
9) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
10) Nicholas Latifi, Williams
11) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
12) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
13) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
14) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
15) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
16) Alexander Albon, Williams
17) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
18) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
19) Mick Schumacher, Haas
20) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

F1 2022 heads to Silverstone this weekend for the big event of the motorsport summer. Join Sky Sports F1 for extensive coverage across the British GP weekend – the race starts at 3pm on Sunday, July 3.

Source : Sky Sports