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Hamilton 'lost faith in the system' after Abu Dhabi controversy

Hamilton 'lost faith in the system' after Abu Dhabi controversy

Hamilton 'lost faith in the system' after Abu Dhabi controversy

Hamilton 'lost faith in the system' after Abu Dhabi controversy

Lewis Hamilton has revealed to losing faith with F1's system following the controversy that surrounded his title defeat to Max Verstappen last year.

After almost 10 weeks since that fateful day in Abu Dhabi as Hamilton missed out on an eighth F1 championship, Hamilton returned to the spotlight at the unveiling of the Mercedes W13 E Performance.

The 37-year-old opted to switch off completely over the winter, with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff claiming his driver was disillusioned given the events that took place at the Yas Marina Circuit, fuelling suggestions he might retire.

Asked whether retirement thoughts had entered his head, with a smile Hamilton initially said: "I've considered retiring so many times."

He then added: "No, honestly, I haven't. Of course, at the end of seasons you think, and the question is whether you are willing to commit the time and the effort that it takes to be a world champion.

"I think a lot of people underestimate what it takes to be a world champion and there are so many moving parts, it's not just turning up and driving the cars.

"The question is, do you want to sacrifice the time? Do you want to continue to punch at the weight you are punching? So that's a normal mental process for me.

"But this one was compounded by a significant factor, and ultimately a sport that I've loved my whole life, there was a moment where I lost a little bit of faith within the system.

"But I'm generally a very determined person and I like to think to myself, whilst moments like this might define other's careers, I refuse to let this define mine.

"So I focused on being the best I can be and coming back stronger."

Hamilton still struggling 'to fully understand everything'

Reflecting on his prolonged silence and switching off completely from social media, Hamilton conceded to going through "a difficult time".

He added: "I just unplugged, switched off. On one side, I deserved to switch off at the end of the year anyway.

"I had my whole family around me. It was a rare occasion where we were all together.

"I just focused on being present with me. Obviously, it took time to digest what had happened, and it's still difficult to fully understand everything.

"But to come back, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've just put my focus into training, getting healthy and enjoying the time off because it goes quickly."

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