Lewis Hamilton started his Formula 1 career with McLaren in 2007. He says he ‘did what he was asked’ while with the team, but ultimately he ‘had to find his own way’.
Lewis Hamilton drove for McLaren for six years, won his first championship in 2008, and he ultimately left the team at the end of 2012 to go to Mercedes.
“I learned a lot there, but I was very young and I became wiser,” the Briton told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“During that time I had to learn to understand what works for me. That is not easy, you have to fit different shapes together, because we are not all square.
“The idea is that a driver must have the right characteristics and position himself in a certain way.
“However, that is not the case, and I have understood that over the years, that it did not work for me.”
“I had to find my way. That helped me a lot, to ultimately ensure that I could get the best out of myself. At McLaren, I did what I was asked to do because I was very young.”
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Although he admits he has grown since he started his Formula 1 journey in 2007, he says he is still fundamentally the same person.
“I am still the same as in the beginning, with more experience now. This is due to the peaks and troughs that make your skin harder, which is a process that always continues.
“The past 15 years have taught me more than what I have learned in my life in all the years before. How to move through life, building professional and human relationships. I have not changed, I am the same person, but I am growing.
“My mother always took very good care of me and my little brother when we went to the races so that we lacked nothing.
“That way I could concentrate on racing. I could never have done it without her and my father, they created an opportunity for me in life.
“In order to continue racing in the grands prix for 15 years, I worked with people who possesed great qualities. Who always tried to get the most out of me.”
And his current team Mercedes certainly got the champ’s best for the past seven years. Hamilton explains what makes his “relationship” with Mercedes special.
“It’s a relationship like no previous relationship. When I joined the team I immediately said, ‘I am the way I am, I am not weird but I am just the way I am.
“I am happy with who I am and besides I want to win championships for you, I want to grow’.
“They gave me the space to grow and that is why I ended up with the best team in Formula 1 to be able to do that,” concluded the seven-time champion.