Leiws Hamilton on his aeroplane

Title fight had little effect on Hamilton’s jet-setting

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The refrain from Lewis Hamilton’s critics that he spends too much time flying around the world to concentrate on his racing barely subsided in 2016.

Previously his supporters have been able to claim, not unreasonably, that as long as Hamilton delivers the silverware there’s no reason to question his commitment. But last year he lost the championship to team mate Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Hamilton squeezed in a US visit between testing days
True, the playing field between the pair wasn’t exactly level as far as reliability was concerned. But it’s also true Hamilton could have overturned his five-point margin of defeat on several occasions last year.

A review of his activities away from the track throughout 2016 as reported on social media shows Hamilton continued to extract maximum value from his private jet in 2016. But did he push himself too hard?

Despite a longer calendar – 21 races compared to the 19 in 2015 – Hamilton made almost as many transatlantic trips as he did the season before, again over 20. The late-season championship pressure also seem to have little effect on his itinerary.

The lengthening of the F1 calendar inevitably forced some compromises. For instance with only one week between the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix instead of two, one of his USA trips from the season before had to be scrapped.

However early in the season he was keen to grab any chance he could to get away. He even dashed off in the four-day gap between the two pre-season test sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya to attend an Elton John AIDS benefit in California.

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This would have involved crossing nine time zones twice within just a few days, a disruption which could have obvious and inevitable consequences on his condition. But Hamilton and Mercedes have gone to unusual lengths to minimise the effect his schedule might have on him.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Those sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement
Hamilton has been working with Hintsa Performance – the fitness specialists set up by the late renowned F1 physician Aki Hintsa – to mitigate the inevitable jet lag. The techniques Hamilton has used includes taking a synthetic version of the hormone melatonin to control his sleep cycles.

He also avoids natural light at certain times or uses his sunglasses to reduce its effects. His sleeping schedule is planned by the specialists although Hamilton has suggested other priorities are also involved. “I’ll record [music] till 3am before a race and then go out and win, and that’s the best feeling,” he said last November.

Hamilton did indeed keep on winning, tasting victory more times than any other driver last year. But it wasn’t enough to keep his title. And it was after one such missed opportunity, in Singapore, that fresh questions were raised over the consequences his lifestyle might have on his racing performance.

Hamilton headed to the Singapore Grand Prix following another of his 12 trips to the USA. A lacklustre showing saw him finish third behind Ricciardo and Rosberg. The latter re-took the lead of the championship – for good, as it turned out.

It prompted Jackie Stewart to question whether Hamilton wasn’t performing at his best. “Suddenly things can go less well,” said Stewart, his words much more restrained than the screaming headlines they prompted: “You overdrive, you are not on the ball, or you live a life that distracts you.”

In the season ahead Hamilton will have a new team mate, more physically demanding cars and potentially closer competition from rival teams all drawing on his reserves of energy. If he can handle all that, sustain his international lifestyle and deliver a fourth world championship title, his critics will have no cause for complaint.

Lewis Hamilton’s 2016 travels place-by-place

Lewis Hamilton’s 2016 world tour

NB. Some locations are approximate.

Over to you

Do you think Hamilton’s lifestyle had an effect on his driving performance in 2016? Is it a positive for Formula One to have such an internationally recognised champion?

Have your say in the comments. You can also compare the data above with the same from the 2015 season.

2015 F1 season

Browse all 2015 F1 season articles

138 comments on “Title fight had little effect on Hamilton’s jet-setting”

  1. Of course his lifestyle has an effect on his championship result. Rosberg might not have been the quicker driver on Saturdays or on Sundays, but he was better prepared throughout the year and conserved all his energy for the title fight.

    Although Lewis’ reliability issues handed the title to Rosberg, you can’t help but think that Lewis would have had couple of better race results if he was just more focused on the championship title.

    I would be surprised if Lewis has the same jet set lifestyle next year… I think 2016 should have been a wake up call for him.

    1. “Although Lewis’ reliability issues handed the title to Rosberg, you can’t help but think that Lewis would have had couple of better race results if he was just more focused on the championship title.”

      He finished with 17 podiums from 19 race finishes.

      Can you prove Rosberg was better prepared than Lewis was?

    2. Exactly… Lewis would be champion, if he got to every race rested and ready.

      1. Even though he was at most of the race venues days before Rosberg. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of personal opinions.

        1. Kgn11
          Your Avatar would be very proud of many of your posts, which goes right to the point, to challenge questionable thinking.

        2. @Kgn11 “Even though he was at most of the race venues days before Rosberg. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of personal opinions.”

          Oh yeah cause that matters, I can show up to work, surf the net all day and say I did more then someone else who was here less! yes good point…

          1. I seem to recall an old maxim about not judging others by my own standards. You are a dedicated surfer.He’s a dedicated driver.yes? good point?

      2. @todfod, @jureo: Different people prepare in different ways. For example, I’ve heard it said that extroverts gain energy from interacting with other people (such as at parties), while introverts expend energy doing the same thing.

        Lewis certainly didn’t have a perfect season, but immediately blaming his lifestyle is too much of a knee-jerk reaction.

    3. Completely disagree with you there @todfod

      You said it yourself “Although Lewis’ reliability issues handed the title to Rosberg” Hamilton could have prepared in the best possible way and those failures would still have cost him the same amount of points.

      People make out like if Hamilton goes to a music or film event he’s useless at the next GP when in reality he’s just doing the same as he always does. One day he’s hugging a tiger the next he’s dominating a GP weekend. I don’t think there’s any real logic to his performances as he’s had several consecutive wins and poles all while living his jet set lifestyle.

      1. Japan…. ???

        1. Japan, missed pole by 0.013s, started on the wet side of the grid which affected the start, recovered to finish 3rd.

          By the way, the only driver who didn’t get a bad start on his side of the grid, was Ricciardo and that was because he started with his car half in half out of his grid slot. Now here’s the good bit, Lewis asked Charlie if he could do what Ric did before the start of the race and he was told that it’s against the rules. After the race when he was asked by Lewis’ engineer why Ric was allowed, he said, “well that was the common sense thing to do”

          1. He was at McLaren for 6 moons living the life that Keith prefers but only bagged 1 championship. But 4 moons with Merc living the life HE prefers has bagged him 2 championships. I’d say he’s got it figured out……

          2. @blackmamba That is a lot more down to the car than his lifestyle though. I doubt it’ll affect his performances whether he’s partying or not.

          3. @blackmamba

            the life that Keith prefers

            I don’t care either way, what he does with his life is up to him. My interest here is whether it’s affecting his racing performance or not.

          4. To be fair @keithcollantine you don’t see anything odd with your assertion that before his lifestyle couldn’t be criticised because he won titles but now he can be criticised because he lost? Hmmm….

          5. @hugh11 I don’t see how that changes anything. Most if not all titles won have been due to the car surely….

          6. Keith…

            You did a similar piece last year, though it wasn’t to ascertain if it affected his performance, so I’d say yes, you do care about his lifestyle.

            And this article didn’t prove whether it did or not as the stats are there to prove he lost because of poor reliability.

          7. Absolutely Kgn11, I agree, I think it’s unreasonable to do a piece asking of Lewis’s lifestyle cost him the championship, if you aren’t willing to ask if he won three world championships because of his lifestyle

    4. Correlation does not equal causation: Hamilton had his good days and not as good days just like anyone else – it doesn’t have anything to do with his travels (the team probably helps him focus on his social and racing life). I personally think hamilton is doing a great job advertising f1, as I live in America (Washington state) and the only people I know who have knowledge of f1 here usually only know about Hamilton.

    5. knoxploration
      11th January 2017, 18:09

      Can we stop this idiotic assertion that “Lewis’ reliability issues handed the title to Rosberg” now, please? Lewis has been the beneficiary of good luck and others’ misfortunes in the past, yet I don’t hear his fans suggesting his own championships to be any less legitimate because of that fact. Well, if you are happy to take the good as your own, you also have to take the bad.

      Lewis lost in 2017 because he wasn’t as good as Rosberg; that simple. Not because of the car. Not because of his starts. Not because of his partying, or anything else besides. Yes, each of those things had their own individual part to play, but when taken altogether the only real answer from a good sport is that Lewis simply wasn’t as good as Nico in 2016.

      1. But yet he had more wins, poles & podiums whilst starting 10th & back of the grid twice and finishing 19 races. Yea you’re right, he definitely wasn’t as good as Nico. Reliability had absolutely nothing to do with it. 😏

        1. Face it, ROS deserved the WDC on his own merrits. There were others who worked very hard but had the disadvantage driving a slower car ( Alonso, Vettel etc..) So if they had better cars,…….. if…….
          Look at the reality.. everything has influenced the results..

          1. Until you can provide concrete evidence that he didn’t work as hard as everyone else, you’re just talking nonsense.

      2. Exactly my toughts. People who treat Lewis like some sort of demi-god simply don’t take a few facts into account:

        1. He started in a top team, in a car that was built on stolen data from their strongest opponent, and was clearly the preferred driver within the team, even though his team mate was a 2x champion. And he lost the title with easily the stupidest driver mistake of that season in China, by the way.
        2. He won his first title in the next season with extreme luck, with reliablilty issues and Crashgate hindering Massa. This of course doesn’t raise the question whether Hamilton deserved that title among his admirers.
        3. He had a pretty lackluster season in 2009. It was never even a question whether he can defend his crown.
        4. He wasn’t clearly better than Button during their partnership – none of them could gain the upper hand -, and he allowed his personal life to have too much influence on his form.
        5. When he won his 2014 title, Rosberg lost suffered twice as many retirements as Hamilton in 2016, and lost way more points due to reliability problems than Lewis did in 2016. This, however, doesn’t seem to interest those who claim Nico’s title is undeserved.
        6. Although he has by far the best machine and is praised as the best driver since Schumacher by many, he failed to advance through the field of weaker cars in China and Baku. Which still makes perfect sense for his fans.

        Lewis Hamilton is very talented driver. But it’s an overstatement that he is the best out there. There is a tremendous element of luck in at least two of his titles; even his supporters have to accept that luck cannot serve him all the time.

        1. Jorge Olivier
          11th January 2017, 21:46

          What I dislike the most about all this is that not only his fans ignore facts as you point, apparently British media have convinced itself that their work is not to objectively report what is happening in Formula 1 but to support Hamilton at any cost. Real journalism doesn’t exists anymore in GB?

          1. Jorge Olivier
            11th January 2017, 22:40

            By the way, by British media I don’t mean to target this site specifically, I mean British media in general. Generally speaking they aren’t critic enough of Hamilton when he deserves to be criticized, but at least this site keeps some neutrality, others are openly Hamilton fan clubs.

        2. Gaspar Palagyi
          1. As far as China in 2007 was concerned. It wasn’t, because of Lewis’s stupidity that caused him to beach himself. That stupidity lies right at the foot of the pit wall, and that so-called brain trust based back at Woking. The reason why I say that. The Director of Bridgestone’s Motorsport Tire Development who was in the McLaren pit area at the time. Advised those geniuses on the pit wall to bring Hamilton in 5 laps earlier, but they refused to heed his advice, and just chose to totally ignore it.
          2. Massa was enabled to remain in contention for the 2008 WDC, because Felipe as a result of that race win given to him at Spa, which he didn’t deserve, and taken away from Lewis. A decision that many fans world-wide, found to be totally outrageous.

          1. In 2007 China, Hamilton made the mistake of heading into that sharp turn way too fast with tyres like that. Simple as that, even if it’s not his fault that his team asked him to stay out too long.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOIxQP5PUSM

            As for 2008, Massa gained only 2 points and Hamilton lost 4 with the stewards’ decision in Belgium. Had his Ferrari not broken down in Hungary, and had Crashgate not happened, Massa would have been the champion even if you add 4 points to Hamilton’s tally and take away 2 from Massa’s. Also, that “outrageous” decision seems to be valid enough when you look at the other drivers’ reaction. Giving back a position for a tenth of a second then pressing on to attack again is not giving back a position at all.

        3. @palagyi
          As with the Hamilton detractors some of you are the biggest liars amongst the F1 fanbase.

          1. Mclaren gave no preference in 2007, it’s a common line spouted by you Alonso fans. You yet fail to realise Alonso was No1 at Renault(as confirmed by flavio(watch his legends of F1 documentary on sky) and clear as day No 1 at Ferrari. The only time he was required to race on equal footing, he got owned by a rookie, was furious Mclaren gave equal status and went running back to Renault.

          2. Anyone who cared to look at the facts for 2014 would see that it was Hamilton who suffered more reliability problems/DNF across the course of the season.
          Rosberg suffered:
          Retirements(Silverstone, Singapore) and a engine failure in Abu Dhabi.
          Hamilton suffered:
          Australia engine failure,RET, Brake failure Canada,RET, Quali Brake failure in Germany, Quali engine failure Hungry, Car failure (thanks to Rosberg) Spa,RET.
          So where is this Twice as many Rosberg retirements or failures in 2014? What i’ve just posted can’t be disputed.

          3. As for 2016 yes reliability lost Hamilton the championship, if anyone can come up with a reasonable argument explaining how he didn’t when by race 12 SPA all Hamiltons season allocation had been used up, (all 5 Power Units were used up in 12 races) PM me.

          4. Anyone who doubts what i stated here can go and check the 2014 season review on YouTube
          and also check the reliability charts of the 2016 season.

          5. Since it’s clear your an Alonso fan, lets explain how reliability Won Alonso not 1 but 2 championships.
          5.1 Kimi’s Reliability problems in 05
          5.2 Schumacher engine failure at Suzuka
          Boom.

          1. First, please do not call me a “liar” just because I don’t agree with you about idolizing Hamilton.

            Now that we sorted that out:

            1. I’m not a fan, or never have been a fan of Alonso. My support has always went to Michael, and Michael only. Fandom doesn’t have to do anything with facts. And the fact is that Alonso was understandably surprised when he found out that his titles and his speed don’t earn him no. 1 status against his team’s junior dirver. Hamilton WAS preferred over Alonso (otherwise Mclaren would have tried harder to sort things out and keep Alonso), it’s not a fault of his, it’s just a fact.

            2. I said Rosberg had twice as many retirements in 2014 than Hamilton in 2016. Learn to read. And I only pointed that out because of the huge uproar that followed Hamilton’s engine failure in Malaysia: why is it justifiable to whine over ONE retirement and dig up conspiracy theories, while when Rosberg had TWO of those, it was accepted and never raised the question of deserving titles?

            3. By the 2016 Belgian race, Hamilton got lucky on Sunday, and lost only a handful of points, but had 3 fresh engines in exchange. It cost him no more points than his woeful starts or his inability to make up more places in China and Baku, but it gave him an advantage for the rest of the season.

            4. I don’t doubt reliability charts. I only doubt your judgement, as you make your statements based on emotions.

            5. I couldn’t care less about Alonso’s titles, as I’ve always cheered for Michael.

        4. @palagyi
          Firstly let me just say that I am a Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel, Raikonnen, Ricciardo and Verstappen fan. I like all great drivers. The following is not a defense of Hamilton but a defense of facts. You can’t pick facts that suit you and use them out of context. That demonstrates the very bias that you are railing against.
          1. Hamilton started in a top team because everything he had done up to that point lead a top team to believe he would win for them. He had talent, motivation and success in order to achieve that. What’s your point?McLaren were in possession of stolen data as a result of data being passed to them around April 2007. Their car was designed and built before then. Their car was not entirely “built on stolen data”.
          Moreover he was not the preferred driver at the start of the season. There was a two time world champion at that team who couldn’t get to grips with the long held Mclaren philosophy of equality. This lead Alonso to blackmail Mclaren with aforementioned stolen information which in turn turned Mclaren against him. Hamilton had no part in that. It was Alonso’s fault. Again to emphasise, Alonso was reacting to Mclaren not picking a number 1 driver.
          2. Hamilton lost the 2007 championship due in part to a Mclaren strategy error at the Chinese GP. Without this error one could argue rationally that he would have won in his rookie season. He deserved it that year and was unlucky. The next year he was both lucky and unlucky as all drivers and teams are over the course of a season or career but he won. It’s racing.
          3. The 2009 Mclaren was incapable of defending Hamilton’s title. If you look at the stats at the beginning of 2009 Mclaren were nowhere but as they improved the car towards the end of the season Hamilton started winning and getting podiums. He did well. If you want a year he didn’t (the only one) pick 2011 when JB beat him and finished 2nd with Mclaren finishing second in the constructors.
          4. Much as I like JB Hamilton is better. Hamilton beat JB 2 out of three seasons they were together and was a faster qualifier. Quoting total points gained over 3 seasons or any other indicator is irrelevant. F1 is measured season to season by all metrics. You can’t compare drivers like for like based on anything other than performance over a race, a season or a career. Hamilton beats JB.
          5. You can’t compare Hamilton in 2014 to Rosberg in 2016 or Rosberg in 2014 to Hamilton in 2016 and get any meaningful information. Hamilton had a few serious problems in 2014 too. It evened itself out over 2014 and Hamilton won. Compare like for like within a race, a season or a career. Hamilton wins against Rosberg more than not.
          6. Nico didn’t progress very well through the field in Monaco, Canada or Malaysia. What’s your point? If you take the opinion of experts it’s due to the 2016 Merc not being as fast as previous years when following other cars.
          And finally Hamilton is one of the most successful and highest paid drivers of all time. It’s not a stretch to interpret those facts as indicators that he is the best out there. It’s a reasonable assumption if you’re being reasonable. It’s not luck that twice he has gone to a top team who weren’t winning and they won. Merc knew that they were developing a winning car and wanted Hamilton to drive it. Why? They’re a pretty successful outfit with the best minds in the industry right now that pay him a lot of money. Why?
          A reasonable person would conclude that regardless of Hamilton, Nico had his year. He peaked at the right time and was consistent. He had reliability and that factor that every driver and every team has on their side when they succeed. Luck.

          1. 1. My point is that Hamilton – although in his mithology, he’s portrayed as the hungry poor kid coming from the deep – never had to prove himself in a low-budget backmarker team, he had comfortably started his F1 career in the best seat possible.
            The stolen data from Ferrari also gave Mclaren – and therefore, Hamilton – an undeserved edge in that season, and it’s safe to say that in 2008, too. It’s not hard to come close to winning the title in your first year if your team enjoys such benefits.
            About equal status, see my answer to Armchair Expert. Letting a 2x champion go after one season doesn’t sound like trying very hard.

            2. Deserving is the key word – having such advantages as a rookie, how deserved that title would have been? Especially, when marching battalions of fans claim that one can be an undeserving winner, just because his rival had ONE retirement?

            3. I pointed out 2009 as a marker that when deprived of a front-end car, Hamilton is no more of a god than anybody else in the field.

            4. Hamilton beat Button twice, and Button beat Hamilton once. That’s why I said they were very closely matched. Too closely to believe that Hamilton is so much better than the rest of the field.

            5. I compared the two cases in connection to the very different reactions these retirements triggered, not because I think retirements from different seasons even each other out.

            6. Nico DID progress through the field in Malaysia very well. Having been hit in the first corner after the start, falling to the back of the pack, then finishing on the podium is a pretty decent job of making up lost ground, one would think. Also, I’m not convinced that this year’s Mercedes was less dominant than its predecessors.

            + You say that it’s reasonable to assume that Hamilton has a record salary because he’s the best out there. I think his amount of payment has a lot to do with marketing value and a tendency of rising driver salaries in the past decade besides talent. Does having higher payment make LeBron better than Kobe? Garnett better than Shaq? It would be an endless debate, I think.

      3. “Lewis lost in 2017 because he wasn’t as good as Rosberg; that simple.”

        Most lists of the best drivers place Hamilton above Rosberg for 2016. So no, not simple at all.

      4. Knoxploration: Of course reliability did lose him it. There was 21 races and by race 12 Hamilton had used up all 5 of his allocation for the season. The Cognitive dissonance is VERY STRONG amongst you people.

        1. Two things i want to point out

          -I haven’t watched f1 for a long while.But in 2016 i had the impression that the media was really biased against Rosberg.I saw an older interview on youtube that showed Brundle just trying to make Rosberg mad in Hokenheim.
          It was unprofessional and ridiculous.
          And the fact that Rosberg was never world C before 2016, he didn’t have that mental advantage .Both the media and never being World C worked against him.

          -I saw an article that claimed Lewis was a better driver because he was more agressive braking later and harder etc.But when you are more agressive you can lock brackes like Lewis does a lot or even damage them more easily.Can you prove he’s car trouble didn’t happen because he’s a lot more agressive in driving tha Rosberg ?

          Doesn’t it seem odd to you that Lewis was slower in qualifying in 2014 even with the car trouble.I mean Senna was faster than Prost almost every time in qualifying sometimes by more than a second.

          1. Knight: 1. Rosberg was only champion this season because of Hamilton’s engine problems. There is no way anyone can say that all 5 power units being used up by race 12 in a 21 race season didn’t affect the championship. 2. As for the failures themselves Mercedes have already stated that they were because of a production issue, this can clearly be found if you type in the relevant words on google, but that is often ignored because it dosen’t suit the narrative the detractors want to postulate of Hamilton pushing too hard. 3. Yes the Media is biased against Rosberg. 4. As for the brake failures, yes he’s later on the brakes and yes that could have accounted for some of his brake failures in 2014, but then again he’s not had a brake failure since 2014. 5. As for the qualifying in 2014, i don’t know but what i do know is that Hamilton beat Rosberg in quali 2015 and 2016(despite not taking part in 3 quali sessions) and no driver will a 1s faster than their teamate nowadays unless the cars a not equal, it’s obvious Senna was a different breed. Do you think Schumacher (while at Benetton) being faster than J.Verstappen at Monaco by 4 secs in 94 was because of driving ability or because the car wasn’t the same? It’s because the car wasn’t the same. When it was Senna vs Prost, Senna was obviously the much faster driver, but prost knew he could get him in the race, there a reason he was called Prof

      5. This debate about Rosberg ‘winning’ will occupy many hours of debate in the coming years.The fact that Lewis won more races seems irrelevant to many in their calculations.
        I do not begrudge Nico his championship, that is the way the cookie crumbles in F1. But cookies crumbling is one thing, Merc engines crumbling is totally another. But hey, don’t mind me, I’m still hooked on the change of oil issue after the exploding engine! That has still not been satisfactorily explained and was, I believe, the root cause of the engine failure.
        No conspiracies, simply technology pushed too far…and it took the Master Driver to reveal it. All else aside, that unblown engine would have been Lewis’s World Championship.
        As for lifestyle affecting his performance, well genius is always characterised by oddity when compared with ‘the norm’.

    6. Much as I’m not a Hamilton fan, he really doesn’t seem like the kind of person who partying would affect his driving.

      1. now that’s what I call ‘fair comment’. :-)

    7. The title of article is “title had little effect on Hamiltons jet setting”. But of course the followup question is did his jetsetting affect his driving. The correct answer is that Lewis being Lewis means you have to have them both. His driving at the top level is his job, but so too is his jet setting. He could probably give up one, but then that wouldn’t make him any less dangerous in the car than he already is. He may have been at 95% all season, and certainly could have found five extra points, but then, the same could be said about the issues caused by the team early in the season, so, were they affected by his jetsetting as well?

    8. Todfod….It wasn’t because of Lewis flying around the world to attend different events, during the 2016 season, which cost Hamilton the championship. The reason as Toto Wolff expressed when he said, ” This year, clearly, Malaysia cost Lewis the championship. It’s clear.” Without that engine failure for Lewis at Malaysia. Hamilton would have gone into the last race at Abu Dhabi, 16 points ahead of Rosberg.

    9. Another side of the argument being that though his jet-setting may detract from some individual race performances, for this particular driver, it allows F1 to be part of a lifestyle rather than a job, and to avoid the sole-focus burnout that has Rosberg walking away from the sport at roughly the same age (31) as Hamilton (was 31 when Rosberg retired, just turned 32). BTW Jackie Stewart’s biography (Winning Is Not Enough) indicates he also left the sport partly due to burnout/stress, while at the peak of his game, after winning his third title. Most would say Jackie could have won more than three had he continued racing. Jackie could only drive with total focus and commitment, but that also limited his career longevity. For many drivers, 100% F1 just doesn’t work long-term, and Hamilton now has 10 tears F1 + junior leagues preceding that.

      The jet-setting is an attraction to sponsors, but being an active, successful driver is also the key that opens doors to the jet-setting opportunities. It doesn’t seem like he will walk away if he wins another WDC in ’17. Once Lewis retires, it will be a different crowd/type of event he gets invited to, so maybe that is also an incentive to stay active/successful in F1…

      Yes, agree with some here that he has likely dropped a few points/races/titles due to lack of focus, but he has also won quite a few and looks to have a good chance again in ’17. Whereas Rosberg will be gone from the grid and from the spotlight in general.

      Also agree with some that Hamilton is overrated by the British press and fan base (that’s pretty much been the case for any successful British driver, ever), but at the same time he should not be underrated for what he has achieved (which is considerable) or for his continued commitment to the sport. Would you rather see him retire? I want as many existing champions on the grid as possible (as long as they are still capable of driving well).

  2. Hamilton is living his life to the max. And my goodness, what a life it is. He is promoting F1 more than any other driver right now, highly involved in charities, and to the best of my knowledge not causing any trouble.

    Last season, he won the most races, and again set/broke numerous records. There can only be one WDC, and this time he lost it by 5 points (not going to even mention all that happened). Not too shabby a season!

    Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with his lifestyle. I’m sure he has professional doctors, trainers, therapists, and a full management team that handle and advise him on these things.

    As an aside, I think Stewart is the last person to quote on anything relating to Hamilton. We all know why!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      11th January 2017, 14:19

      @stubbornswiss
      +1 The guy must be a physical beast to not be affected by those changes. I do wonder if it’ll have more of an impact as he enters his 30s or will Lewis tone it down slightly or look for a more balanced lifestyle.

      1. @freelittlebirds To be honest, considering he is travelling by private jet, and has a retinue of assistants to take care of most of his needs, he is probably less stressed and fatigued than most of us that have to commute daily to work.

        Remember, though it is often touted just how much he jets around, we forget that he is not standing in check-in queues, not waiting in departure lounges, not dealing with flight delays, and is definitely not crammed into a tight seat with a crying baby on his left and a snoring man on his right.

        Add a dietician and a nutritionist to the mix, plus a trainer and a masseuse and hopefully we can begin to see that it is a lifestyle totally different from most of ours, which is what the majority of people are basing their uninformed opinions on.

    2. Is everyone forgetting that even Lewis admitted his “Hollywood” lifestyle affected his performance in Hungary 2015, so why not in any other races, which eventually cost him the championship.

      1. No he did not say that

      2. No one is forgetting anything because that never happened

        1. @blackmamba Really? Because he quite clearly and explicitly stated that eariler that day before the race, he had gone to a filmshoot and hung out with some superstars, which later lead him to focus less on the engineering before the race, which probably didn’t help a frankly absymal performance by his standards.

    3. +1…and reverb

  3. Seriously, this whole lifestyle story again? He didn’t lose because he traveled the world, he lost because his car broke more times than his teammate. He won in 2015 with 3 races in hand, doing the same thing.

    He has said himself that if he sees where the things he’s doing away from the track starts to affect his on track performance, then he’ll scale it back. Come on man, let the man live his life how sees fit.

    “Hamilton headed to the Singapore Grand Prix following another of his 12 trips to the USA. A lacklustre showing saw him finish third behind Ricciardo and Rosberg. The latter re-took the lead of the championship – for good, as it turned out.”

    Really Keith? So all the technical issues he had that weekend, ones which Toto himself relayed to the world, continues to be ignored. But I guess it makes for a better story to say he wasn’t focused & lacklustre as opposed to telling the true story.

    1. he lost because he had less points.
      he could have earned more points during the season so his Engine blow up would not have hurt him that much.
      he ruined several starts during the season

      Rosberg was very meticulous and a stable driver.

      1. “Rosberg was very meticulous and a stable driver”

        Hmmm that’s interesting. Is that why he was involved in so many accidents and given so many penalties?

        As for the rest of what you wrote, pesh!

        1. ;)
          pesh
          Derivation of eshay or esh; generally connoting a sense of excitement, approval or satisfaction.

      2. Rosberg was diabolical in the wet and as Kgn11 pointed out was involved in a lot of crashes and or penalties. Add to that some of his off days like Canada and Germany and I think your “stable and meticulous driver” claims begin to look a tad ridiculous.

    2. click bait, used to prove how far people will go to lie to themselves. There are more interesting things in this world besides a class of racing that promotes ‘classism’, disparity, and corrupt rule rigging. There is no competition in F1, it’s a TV production from which sponsors choose how they want to advertise their products, and the biggest sponsors take up most of the space/time.

      The Great Circus has been going around and around for thousands of years, it’s no different, and it’s real intent is to keep people in their place (class) distracted by lies, while they slave away at their menial jobs. It’s a form of social control. Enjoy. Cheers.

    3. Jorge Olivier
      11th January 2017, 21:53

      No. He lost because he scored less points than Rosberg, so to the car failures you have to add every race in which he scored less than Rosberg and analyze the whole package. Since he couldn’t avoid car failures then you have to analyze what he did in the other races that done differently would have handed him the championship. And there you have where he lost the championship.

    4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      11th January 2017, 23:19

      Lol this guy is hilarious. He spent the entire day trying to argue the same point. I wish I had that passion for something. He must really love Lewis.

  4. Ridiculous… taking hormons and avoiding day light? He’s a professional racing driver not a gymnast. Better yet people are still blinded by the raw ridiculousness suronding him and say “he’s promoting formula 1”. He’s promoting nothing else but himself and his milionaire attention addicted lifestyle.

    1. @Bogdan Haven’t read such a bitter comment in a long time. Plus of course, you do know everything you say is wrong, right?

    2. Don’t be a hater. Would you trade your lifestyle with Hamilton’s? Be honest now.

  5. No.

    Others are spending time with their families, others are travelling, others go partying, others are doing whatever they like and others do a bit of everything. It’s all ejoyable but also at times exhausting. And everyone of them works out and pay a visit to the factory.

    I can’t see any evidence that it affected his performance. While Hamilton did a couple of mistakes, the same applies to Rosberg and he was pace wise usually even off. Similar applies to every other driver. Nobody is over the whole season perfect, regardless what he is doing in his spare time. And perhaps it helps Hamilton to write off difficult weekends if he is (almost) all the time on the go rather than to sit alone at home (unlike Rosberg he has no own family).

    If he would do mistakes like he did in 2011 or if he was generally off the pace it would merrit a discussion. In this case I can’t see it.

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      11th January 2017, 14:14

      +1

      It’s ridiculous to say Hamilton could have won if he’d had the perfect season, no other driver is held to that standard. Hamilton would have won if his mechanical reliability had been slightly better (it didn’t even need to be on par with Rosberg, just one less problem would have sufficed).

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        11th January 2017, 14:56

        @thegrapeunwashed

        Indeed – in fact, if Rosberg hadn’t pushed Lewis out in Spain, he would have lost the championship. That’s without taking into account everything else this year which ranged from false starts, magic gloves, engine issues, fires, wrong race settings, communication bans, team intervention.

        It was actually quite a tumultuous season for Lewis.

        1. Rosberg did not pushed lewis out.. Lewis took Ros out.

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            11th January 2017, 16:21

            @seth-space, given that Rosberg crowded Hamilton off the track (which is illegal), how is Hamilton more at fault?

            @freelittlebirds, well said. Andrew Benson analysed Hamilton’s performance relative to Rosberg’s and found that if anything it was even higher than in 2015. Only bad luck prevented him from demolishing Rosberg in 2016.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            11th January 2017, 16:53

            @seth-space I’ll never understand how anyone can blame Lewis for that one.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            11th January 2017, 16:59

            @thegrapeunwashed I actually have been saying that Lewis has been imperious this year.

            He practically forced his teammate who’s one of the top drivers into retirement this year and that’s without winning.

          4. I’m still at a loss how rosberg was not to blame. It’s not a grey area at all.
            It’s simple, by the time Ros reacted he did not have enough time to close the gap without a portion of Ham’s car being alongside. But he closed anyway and pushed a car off. Rules state: crowding of a car on a straight is prohibited.

            Stewarding in f1 is something that is really below par. I have feeling I would say that even if I sat alongside the stewards for a race weekend to see how they operate. As Martin brundle points out frequently, there’s no consistency even with the myriad of tools they have at their disposal. Hire a designated steward instead of old drivers with their biased viewpoints on driving standards.

            Rant over, tomorrow: everything I love about f1

          5. btw, it’s just what happened not about who’s fault it was.

  6. As @todfod mentions, it is almost certain to have an effect. How much? Hard to tell. In a sense, Hamilton prioritizing his travelling lifestyle is just as logical as Rosberg calling quits after reaching his goal.

    Why would Lewis go on focussing on nothing apart from driving the car as fast as possible? He did that at the start of his career, and I don’t think he was satisfied with his life then. Otherwise he surely hadn’t changed it after winning his first title!

    If he can afford to lose sleep with a fun life and still win, all the better for him. Last year it might have been one of the factors contributing to not winning the title. But he already has 3 championships, and it would only be more boring if he had won this one on a trot, and he might even want to stop too, because it would not be fun for him either, so why would he do that!

  7. In a world of private planes, luxury apartments and personal physicians, I don’t think you can say it’s any different to jetting back home after every Grand Prix. As long as he isn’t drinking himself stupid and not sleeping, then I don’t think it makes much difference to his performance on track.

    I’m by no means a Hamilton fan, but if you can find me a driver who promotes the sport worldwide as much as him then I’ll be very surprised!

    Frankly I think most people’s objection to his lifestyle is spawned from pure jealousy. I’d love to be able to see the world as he does, but he has the means to do it and does it. Fair play to him.

  8. As another aside… perhaps there are other drivers with similar lifestyles and simply don’t broadcast them in the same way? Just a thought…

  9. He’s having a great time, happy and relaxed and we all perform best when we are not trying. He’s racing as well as at any other time in his life.

    He’s got no wife, children but he’s still got a life outside the race track. Good luck to him.

  10. I think the only person qualified to answer the question of whether Hamilton’s off-track lifestyle affected his on-track performance is Lewis Hamilton.

    Anything anyone else says, be they pundit, racing champion, or faceless internet poster, is entirely speculative.

    Most of the race weekends where Hamilton had, for instance, clutch issues (which even Mercedes admitted their clutch had serious issues, for *both* drivers), Hamilton performed very well– If you lead most of the sessions, AND get pole position, chances are you’re not overtired going into the race weekend.

    Something else that seems to get overlooked is that Hamilton has a private jet– no screaming kids, no coach seats, no uninvited passengers, no TSA checkpoints with ridiculous rules– so an eight hour flight can be just as restful as 8 hours in a hotel room (probably more so).

    It’s all a matter of scheduling and discipline.

  11. The debate of how much a driver’s lifestyle is beneficial or detrimental to his/her performance will always prove inconclusive. What can’t be denied is the importance of inspiring the future generations of our beloved sport, something which Lewis has undoubtedly achieved through his global popularity and record-breaking talents.

    1. As for my 2 cents on the debate, I would agree his poorer performances were influenced by his lifestyle. However, I don’t think there’s a single driver on the grid that hasn’t put in a less-than par performance at least once in 2016 due to their lifestyle choices.

      Indeed, Lewis is highlighted because a) he was in the title fight and b) his lifestyle is more eccentric and advertised than other drivers… But there has always been a certain air of unique expectation placed on Lewis by many of his detractors, citing lifestyle-choices as cause for a non-PERFECT season.

  12. ‘If you reach the age of thirty-ish and you haven’t discovered that life is for living
    NOW…..and can’t be postponed until a more convenient date…then you are on
    the slippery downslope to nowhere…….so get real…..live now….!

    I have the feeling that LH got that message several years ago. He’s living the dream
    and in full control of his life…..pretty good philosophy I would say !

    Go for it Lewis !

    1. I’d also delicately bring up Michael Schumacher here… all that money and only just starting to enjoy life outside Formula One when such a tragic accident occurred. Just goes to show that life won’t wait for you, if you have the means then get it done!

    2. I’d advise everyone to find and watch his interview with Mansell in Mexico 2015, where he discusses why he does the things he does and the sudden passing of his aunt due to cancer and what she said to him.

  13. A whole article about Hamilton’s travels during the year…Ok…Btw,he came for 2-3 days in Greece i think.

  14. I am sure Mercedes don’t have a problem with it this time as they won both titles but that opinion would surely change if it is tight with Redbull and they nick it next season. All adds to the drama though so i don’t really care what he does with his spare time, good luck to him you only live once.

  15. Lest we forget, Hamilton won the most races and was on pole the most times. He did have poor races, such as Baku and Japan, but then again so did Nico or another driver for that matter.

    Also if we are to suggest that the jet setting lifestyle has had an impact on Hamilton’s racing perhaps we should compare his racing now to when he was at McLaren and in my view he is a better driver now.

  16. I always find it interesting that when people look back in F1 history they laud characters such as Hunt.

    They find or found his playboy life style, characteristics and seemingly relaxed approach to F1 to be endearing, individual, character defining and reflect to many a golden age of F1 drivers. Senna too had many of these qualities, especially a reputation as a ladies man.

    Yet, when those same characteristics are present in any F1 driver of the modern era (most notably Hamilton) they are often called out for being unprofessional, brash, contrived, uncommitted and so on. People seem to resent the fact he is enjoying his wealth and the fruits of his life long effort in F1 this far, none of which was handed to him. Maybe this is just a symptom of modern media and internet celebrity culture. We have far more access to their lifestyle than we ever would have in the past and therefore more opportunity to criticize.

    For those who think his lifestyle affects his commitment and results I often think of my own experience.

    I knew people who could party to the early hours, yet come home and still produce an essay or assignment for the next day and receive top marks. Then there were others (myself included) who had to spend a week refining theirs to achieve the same mark. Everyone is different.

    1. +1

      I spent most of my working life ‘jetting’ as Keith would say – pretty much around the world, yet managed in four straight years to pull in a few hundred million in contracts for the company I worked for.. And manage the builds and put out the fires thereafter. And then came home on the weekends I could to race and despite missing a few in the year would, shock horror, win an awful lot too…

      Against better funded, apparently better rested and fitter types wholly focused on racing given it was the day job for them

      That damned pesky racing stuff sure got in the way of my work performance. Imagine what I could have pulled in without racing, or if I had a personal jet, or dozens of assistants!

      There I was doing half my work because that racing was just wearing me down…

      Right…

  17. Which would Hamilton himself prefer anyway, though?

    A perhaps-boring perhaps-lonely perhaps-unremarkable (title aside) year that brings him the silverware,
    or one filled with great events but left HAM with no silverware (but with his reputation pretty much intact anyway IMHO)?

  18. It is between the team and LH as to what effect his off-track lifestyle has had. As the title has suggested above, a title fight did not dissuade him from jet-setting. One can wonder if that was because he had the luxury of a dominant car, and a self-confidence that Nico would never beat him. Would he have done the same if the car was not dominant? Perhaps. Hard to say. It was in 2011 that he admitted off-track distractions were costing him on the track and that’s the year Button bested him on points. Whether or not his distractions were the ultimate reason, or if it came down to unreliability or what have you, he said it, and at the time I thought that must have been terrible for all the team members and sponsors that spend the hundreds of millions to field a few cars in F1 to hear.

    I have had little issue with LH on the track throughout his career, other than the odd tussle here and there akin to what every driver commits at times while forcefully trying to own real estate. So to his jet-setting lifestyle, I have absolutely no issue there, nor would it matter if I did. Nor does it matter that I have been highly turned off by him for his accusatory nature toward Mercedes after helping him win 2 WDCs and the potential for a third. To give him what they have, and to seemingly have no issue with his jet-setting, and to then have him say the things he has said, has been terrible in my books, and has been a huge slap in the face of his team. No wonder when Zetsche saw the call from Toto about Nico retiring, his reaction before he picked up the phone was ‘what now about Lewis.’ I can only see him now as someone whose titles have gone to his head, and that’s unfortunate. Just my opinion…feel free to slam me to the weeds for it, but nothing will change that. He’s simply not my cup of tea, but with respect to this article it certainly isn’t just because of his lifestyle. It’s because of who he has become.

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      11th January 2017, 15:08

      @robbie, each to his own of course, but if I supported drivers because I thought them great, wise and well-rounded human beings, I wouldn’t be cheering on any of the top drivers – Hamilton, Alonso or Vettel – all of whom put themselves first, before any other consideration. Drivers like Coulthard and Button might be thought of as great guys, but they rarely produced the kind of performances which would get the world talking; much as I like them as people, I couldn’t pretend to have been hugely inspired by them. I watch F1 for excitement, so we’re back to Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel – drivers who go all out. Can these three be self-centred, paranoid, disloyal? Absolutely. Are they usually the talking points at the end of the races? Absolutely.

      I’m not mentioning the Red Bull drivers because they’re still too new to really assess what kind of people they are – but Verstappen shows all the signs of joining the Hamiltons, Alonsos and Vettels of this world.

      1. @thegrapeunwashed Great, wise, or well-rounded are words you have chosen. I think LH has developed an air of entitlement beyond where it should be, and that is my opinion. That doesn’t have to mean I look for perfection in drivers. All human beings have their faults including me. LH’s conspiratorial attitude to a team that has brought him so much, is simply a turnoff to me, as I have stated. I’m not looking to compare him to other drivers as that would not change how he himself has behaved.

    2. God forbid we are held to your standards Robbie.

      I have a suspicion you might just be known as the bar side bore.

      Wishing the world and all within fitted your exacting standards of ‘how it should be’

      Live and let live. I am pretty sure Merc got a far bigger slap in the face from his team mate than Lewis could ever produce and your constant pretence that is not so will never wash.

      1. @Drg Why do you suggest a collective ‘we’ be held to my standards when I have clearly stated this is simply my opinion, not to mention that my opinion does not matter?

        If I am a bar side bore, are you the bar side bully that doesn’t allow people their opinions without being threatened by them and having to lash out to the extreme?

        ‘Wishing the world….?’ Where from ‘not MY cup of tea’ do you get that from, other than to look at yourself in the mirror for the answer?

        ‘Live and let live.’ Unless of course you are Robbie and then you cannot have a personal opinion about someone’s character that happens to turn him off. You must conform if you are Robbie. Do you even see your own hypocrisy?

  19. Someone needs to tell Lewis that is not how to do a flying lap!!!

  20. I’m no Hamilton fan, and he’s not a guy that I adore so much, but for me his lifestyle have negligible effect to his season, yes I can say this because of my school experience.
    I got a buddy who have tons of extracurricular, participate in multiple science competition, and had lot of activities basically, yet came out on top on half term school rankings. Not every people gain energy/motivation by relaxing and self composing, in fact some needs to be fired up with hectic stuffs, people interactions and even burning your energy can profit you some motivation, similar how the Rich mix works in F1 car.

  21. Maybe the jet-setting life actually helped him during the championship? Why is this not possible?

    1. I believe it’s perfectly possible, this kind of criticism always assumes far too much about the personality of the individual it’s aimed at. More rest is good for your preparation – except if you’re the kind of person who starts to brood and angst as soon as you’re left in peace. Focusing more on the task at hand is good for your preparation – except if you’re the kind of person who loses focus quickly. Being in the spotlight less often is good for your preparation – except if you’re the kind of person who needs the constant attention to build up your own confidence.

      I’ve never met Hamilton, I don’t know him, so I’m definitely not going to claim that I know better than him what he needs. For all I know he achieved what he did because of his jet-setting rather than despite it.

  22. Of course, all those Date-line crossings degraded the big end bearings of a priceless, precision Mercedes PU. I’m surprised they didn’t invoice him for such a clear cause-effect result.

    In the same way, envy and ignorance increased Rosberg’s prowess. Ipso Facto.

  23. Can’t we all just accept that people are different and shouldn’t expect individuals to live according to our own beliefs…live and let live and all that?

  24. Maybe the headline should be: Hamilton’s jetset life has little impact on titel fight. He was really good this year and could have easily won it.

  25. this entire narrative is based in racism…and Keith and other excuse is well you didnt win so we will flog you for not being perfect..he even said that people have been trying to make that argument for years but lewis kept wining so now that he lost they can finally make that bogus claim….
    This narrative is based on the old stero type that black men are lazy,like to party and self destruct with fame and money.Its why Lewis left mclaren,Ron dennis taught that Lewis as a black man needed strong daily supervision and be should be kept away from black entertainers,less he will be led a stray.As late as 2016 Ron was still insisting that Lewis a 30 yeae old tripple world chapion should be restricted in where he goes and how he lives his life……he just cant see beyond race.
    can you imagine him saying that about Alonso or Button…Let me put it this way if you disusing a woman’s appearance in a way that you dont for men then its misogyny…

    1. @spactus

      this entire narrative is based in racism

      I don’t consider myself racist and I don’t believe I’ve given any cause here or in anything I’ve written or said for you to make that accusation.

      The claim that Hamilton’s lifestyle is a distraction from his performance certainly did not originate here. But I don’t see anyone else bothering to look into what the facts of it are and whether that claim is a reasonable one. Hence this article.

      1. Keith I dont believe you are racist…and my statement was the narrative had basis in Racism..but you cant absolve yourself from responsibility and say it didnt originate with me.maybe those who originate the story had bad motive so just blindly promoting that narrative makes you culpable weather your intention was good or bad.

        1. @spactus I do not agree this ‘promotes’ that narrative; I think you’ll find plenty in here which challenges it.

      2. @spactus
        The word “narrative” made me cringe there. A word Americans have over used to describe “opinions”.
        Unlike in America it’s not all about race. Jenson Button was criticised and to some extent overlooked at the beginning of his career for being a party boy. Kimi Raikkonen has been criticised for his approach. James Hunt was the biggest playboy of them all and if he had raced today would have been lambasted.
        People who follow their God devoutly see him everywhere. People who want to see things see things.
        Bernie got it right though. Hamilton’s off track antics are good for F1 and Merc think their driver making the cover of Time magazine is a good thing.
        I think it’s a bit of jealous envy that you can be successful and have fun. Cake and eating comes to mind!

    2. Of course I can imagine Ron Dennis saying that about Alonso and Button. But only if they were doing all that asininity. Only, they were not.

      Playing the race card is a sure sign you’ve lost it.

      I am a nonwhite female. Therefore whatever you say against me is positive proof that you are both a racist and a sexist chauvinist pig.

      So it goes.

  26. This whole line of discussion is a bit off. How much time did Rosberg spend with his kid and wife and family last year? (If you listen to him, not nearly enough as it was, thus his quitting.) Or does that not affect driving performance because it is not unseemly to old men like Jackie Stewart. Hamilton is a single guy, he spends his free time, such as it is, out in the world doing stuff with his friends. Some of them are, like him, rich and famous. And as far as his jet setting, I have not read one example of him breaching his duties to the team, in terms of driving or publicity for the team, thanks to his Lifestyle. Yet people want to continually fly-speck his off track behavior for hidden signs that he would have been better off spending his off time practicing piano.

  27. Rosberg said the 2016 season was the hardest he ever worked and even so Hamilton still outdrove him over the season. I’d say his lifestyle outside of F1 didnt hinder him at all.

  28. Dear Lewis,
    Next time you are in Los Angeles and drive your Shelby Cobra on Pacific Coast Highway wave back.
    I was on my bike…
    Your life style is your business and you earned it. Watch out for our Maxie in 2017 hopefully another great season.
    Good luck!

  29. I’m guessing Lewis does not believe in reducing one’s “carbon footprint”?!

  30. A little bit of starting practice earlier in the season would have won him the WDC. But of course partying comes first.

    You can say what you want about Michael Schumacher but he sure worked hard for his seven WDCs. Hewis Lamilton doesn’t. Well, he’ll never get seven titles, either. Got already three too many.

    1. Jorge Olivier
      11th January 2017, 21:32

      God spares us of his tantrums if he doesn’t understand the 2017 tires because he refused to test them… and Rosberg won’t be there to help.

  31. I’d like to point out that while it appears that Rosberg has less of a social life than Hamilton, he does HAVE A CHILD. Where are the articles asking if Rosberg is ‘pushing himself too hard’ by starting a family while still racing, or whether his young baby and the consequences of new fatherhood have ‘any negative effects on his racing performance’?

    Bringing a person into the world that you are responsible for 100% of the time seems like it would have a far greater potential for distraction than an active social life.

  32. When it comes to what works for people in regards to how they live their life there is no one size fits all, there might be a certain lifestyle that works for most F1 drivers but it should not be a surprise that all of them don’t lead the same kind of life away from the track.

    Hamilton has previously said that the way he lives his life now is what works best for him, that it actually gives him energy, and that he is not happy staying in one place all the time. Earlier in his career he seemed to lead what his critics would class as a more regular lifestyle, so it is not as if he hasn’t tried both and doesn’t know the difference.

    I would have thought that it is not just about a driver arriving at each Grand Prix in the peak physical condition possible but also their emotional state, would it not be better to have a happy driver rather than a super fit but miserable driver.

    If F1 is significantly more demanding next year he may need to change somethings and as he gets older it may naturally be the case that he travels less.

    I am not really surprised that Hamilton occasionally has races where he is off form such as Singapore 2016, I think he would have weekends like that no matter how he lived his life, it is just that when he is not at his best some claim it is because of the lifestyle he chooses to lead.

    If the same focus and attention were put on every driver on the grid you would see that most are not at their best and mistake free every single race weekend.

  33. Well I am a Lewis fan but when he was struggling with the starts after the first 4 races, perhaps he should have dedicated just a bit more time to master the clutch systems. Its true to say that not all of his miserable starts where his fault but certainly he cannot absolve himself of any responsibility. In my opinion Lewis got so comfortable with the knowledge- and perhaps true until this year- that even if there were mechanical problems he would still usurp Rosberg because he has beat him more often than not. Maybe, but the biggest issue last season was Rosberg had no race ending mechanical failure and only one qualifying failure. As Keith pointed out- I like other HAM fans weren’t bothered about his lifestyle while he was racking up the championships but this season he perhaps underestimated Rosberg who did what he had to do to win the championship given the cards handed to him.

  34. Lewis lifestyle is his choice ( and maybe the team). If it effects his driving, and that’s a real possibility with all these jetlag moments, it;s his own choice.
    Lewis has a lot of talent and does nog need the same focus other drivers need to perform. He probably would do better if his focus was more on free practice and sim work. But he seems to manage really well without.
    His Baku problems were partly a result of his lack of knowledge about the settings ( Ros solved the same error himself, but after Spain he had good reasons to develop that knowledge)

    1. “His Baku problems were partly a result of his lack of knowledge about the settings ( Ros solved the same error himself, but after Spain he had good reasons to develop that knowledge)”

      So even though the team said the problem was to do with them making an error with the pre race settings that they weren’t aware of until it manifested itself, you’re still putting that down to Hamilton? Wow!

      They’ve even said Rosberg’s issue was an easy fix, because it was a changed he made just before his stop that caused the problem. So when he was told that it was to do with the settings he was in, all he had to do was undo what he had previously done. Lewis made no setting change to cause the problem.

      But then again, reading your replies earlier, I’m not surprised with what you’ve written.

      1. Kg.

        This Baku thing is just constant by a couple of posters. They will never stop trying the misdirection no matter how hard we try.

        They cling to that because it is the only way they can legitimise Rosberg winning.

        Forget the fact he had a second on everyone in Baku until that one single mistake. Baku is of course why he was five points down. Nothing to do with the team who were happy to break the rule for Nico but not Lewis…?

        Malaysia never happened don’t you know and as for qualifying and clutch issues? Nope sorry does not count.

        Best to just say Rosberg needed a 25% head start to beat his team mate…

        And even then won fewer races, had fewer poles and somehow despite more penalties than anyone for poor driving along with a 100% reliability managed just a single extra podium spot while his team mate was usually putting out the fires from his engine.

    2. ROS didn’t have the same error, but like many of the masses who are gullible and repeat what they say, you are no different. ROS’s issue was self imposed, ergo, he found out quickly how to rectify the situation, HAM’s issue was set in to the car by his team, he never cause the problem, his team did, and he had no idea how to ‘reverse’ the issue.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        12th January 2017, 8:00

        Worse than that, they had listed the setting incorrectly in the menu, so Hamilton was in the ‘right’ set-up and needed to fix it by picking the wrong set-up (and there were hundreds of variations of the latter!).

  35. Boring topic for me now, done to death, only so much can be gained from watching the same arguments back and forward. I expect it to be brought up again with Bottas, it seems a bit like Mercedes tactic to pair the maverick with the iceman. It’s something people can be passionate about on both sides of the coin which drives engagement.

    To answer the question in the blurb though, no I don’t think it did.

  36. Jorge Olivier
    11th January 2017, 21:27

    Why British media keep ignoring that he said he was still in vacations 4 races into the championship but would start focusing on it in Spain. Or was is something he only told to latinamerican reporters? And yet later when he was “focusing” he refused to test, he kept travelling to personal events and avoiding team events, threw god knows how many tantrums instead of focusing, etc.
    But seriously, why British media doesn’t report that by his own statements he wasn’t even trying to win at the beginning of the championship. I remember the latinamerican commentators saying that he was losing the championship with that attitude, and they were right.
    If he was focused when he needed to focus he would be champion now despite the later reliability issues.

  37. I’m sorry Keith, but this is bordering on a kind of ‘click-bait’ type of article with the headline “Did Diana survive and is she living in Saffron Walden?”
    It doesn’t matter what L did off the track. It’s how he raced and how his car performed that mattered. It doesn’t matter if he had a passion for rolling about naked in stinging nettles while listening to The Tremeloes – unless it meant he couldn’t feel the brake pedal in Baku.
    Let’s leave the 2016 season behind us with Rosberg sleeping happily with his trophy clutched tightly to his chest, and look forward to 2017.
    Hamilton or Bottas; now, there’s a question.

    1. @nickwyatt

      It doesn’t matter what L did off the track. It’s how he raced and how his car performed that mattered.

      I don’t think you can always separate the two so easily – Hungary last year being a case in point.

  38. [quote]I’ll record [music] till 3am[/quote]
    He keeps teasing us with this talk about his music! When are you going to drop your beats on us Lewis? You were in the wings when Pharrell played last Glasto, how awesome would it have been if you’d come out and laid down some tunes with him!

    /s

  39. I think Stewart saying anything it a bit pot kettle black.

    I think a bit a of reasearch into how many time JYS crossed the Atlantic and his compatriots of the time will show they were not dissimilar 😀

  40. I don’t like to criticise but I think the whole premise of the article is pretty ridiculous. Hamilton is a top professional sportsman who has already been world champion three times and has plenty of experience in dealing with the pressures and strains of the role. I think he is more than capable of deciding if his lifestyle choices will have an effect on his job and I speak as one who is not his biggest fan. Hamilton lost because of some poor starts and reliability issues mainly. Also his main opponent was at the top of his game. In another year, with a bit more luck he could easily have won. So I think we should just leave it there.

  41. I’m not the biggest Hamilton fan but he is a racer, I’ve noticed over the radio he is quite measured e.g. Baku and Abu dhabi he kind of takes his time to think before he speaks esp during interviews like after qualifying or post race he kind of pauses after a question thinks it through then answers. Anyway something I noticed throughout the Japanese Gp and it was odd, him playing with his phone or whatever and everything that happened afterwards, Nico Rosberg was nowhere to be ‘seen/heard’. The first time was during Q3 and after the race. I dont mind his lifestyle or anything but if there was a weekend that was a shock to me and I bet Rosberg too as he let it ‘play’ out was Japan.

  42. Saying Hamilton lifestyle effected his championship is the worst ever thing to happen but lot of people say it.
    He does live how he want but the important factor for him and Mercedes AMG team and fans is that when he sits into that car he drives very well, yes there are hiccups here and there but he was also human gets affected by how things go, In the end he drove a brilliant season and the life style has more or less no effect on it. He got frustrated by reliability issues which what we can say for certain.

  43. Who gives a toss?

    1. Yep, the cad can go hang himself from the nearest tree for all I care

  44. Oh Boy! I can’t wait to read the well thought through comments on this important issue…

  45. I wonder if Merc are looking at Hamilton on the cover of Time magazine or appearing on Ellen and thinking “I wish he’s stop doing that!”
    Just a thought!

    1. Why would they? He’s bringing positive publicity and attention to the sport, the team, and the brand.

      More than any other diver at the moment, in my opinion.

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