Motor racing-Hamilton feeling 'stronger than ever'

Sat Mar 7, 2015 7:54pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says he is going into the new season mentally stronger than ever after learning to keep his personal and professional life apart.

Hamilton won 11 of the 19 races last year on his way to a second title. However, he and on-off girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger have separated since she watched him win the Abu Dhabi season-ender and title last November.

"I think last year, I adapted ... a mental attitude that was kind of, I would like to say, impenetrable," the Mercedes driver told British reporters before heading to Australia for the March 15 season-opener.

"In the previous years it has been the case where it (personal issues) has affected my life in general but I feel that I still carry that kind of mentality from last year.

"Having been in this position before, I feel stronger than ever so I don’t feel that it’s going to be a problem."

The Briton started the 2014 season, the first of the new V6 turbo hybrid era, with some pundits suspecting his team mate Nico Rosberg might get the better of a man who so often wears his heart on his sleeve and lives in the public glare.

Instead, Hamilton won more of the mind battles between the two title rivals, stepping up a gear in particular after they collided in Belgium.

Everything aligned for the double champion last year and he said that was a rarity.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain leaves from his garage during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain February 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo