Lewis Hamilton has admitted he has a fear of driving on public roads as ”anything can happen”. He admitted he finds driving on city roads with junctions, pedestrians and other traffic “stressful” compared to racing on an F1 track.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Hamilton said: “I just think that I find it stressful. I try not to do things that don’t add to my life. Look, we’re on these roads, anything can happen.”
Hamilton was giving the interview while driving through Nice and he added: “This is now stressful for me. This road is crazy. So much going on here. I’m going to turn around in a second.”
Vanity Fair notes Hamilton was a sensible and careful driver when on public roads. They revealed he didn’t speed and pulled over regularly to let impatient drivers pass.
Hamilton admits people will think he has a cool sports car but these days instead drives a small electric Smart car.
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However, he reveals he doesn’t feel fear when behind the wheel of an F1 car on a race track or when doing other dangerous sports like rock climbing, skydiving or surfing. The seven-time champion also claimed spiders were one of his biggest fears making trips to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix difficult.
Hamilton even admitted to getting a hotel room on one of the higher floors in Australia to get away from the insects. The Mercedes star admitted he will often check around any room he checks into to make sure a room is spider free.
Hamilton admits the fear sounds irrational based on his job but accepted people are “wired differently”. He added: “People say: ‘Dude! You drive around at 200 miles an hour!’ And I’m like, in terms of fear factor, that’s easy for me. I guess we’re just all wired differently.”
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Hamilton and Mercedes have struggled to compete with the Red Bulls and Ferraris this season. However, the Briton has made the best of a bad situation and scored consistent podiums since the Canadian Grand Prix after a tough start
The multiple champion has six top-three finishes this season including at the last five races back-to-back. Hamilton has previously opened up on how bad experiences have left him with a mental resilience in F1 today.
He opened up on a bad boxing fight which he still draws on to overcome his fears. The Mercedes driver explained: “I remember my dad kneeling down in front of me and saying, ‘You’re going to get back in there and give it everything you’ve got.
“You’ve got to face your fears headfirst.’ I went in, and I didn’t let this kid get a single punch in, and I overcame this fear. I use that same experience with all my racing.”