No private plane, plastics as Hamilton declares: ‘I’m only human’

Saturday, October 26th, 2019 00:00 |
Mercedes Benz’s British driver Lewis Hamilton signs autographs at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on Thursday, ahead of the weekend’s Grand Prix. Photo/PD/AFP

Lewis Hamilton on Friday said there “is a lot going on in my life” as he responded to critics of his recent emotional social media postings by conceding that he is only human after all.

However, he added that his growing concerns over the environment have seen him sell his private plane and introduce a complete ban on plastics in his daily life.

The five-time world champion, who is on the brink of possibly claiming a sixth title at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, revealed fleeting despair at the state of the world when he used Instagram to declare that the world was “a messed-up place” and he felt he wanted “to give up”.  

That commentary, including revelations about his vegan lifestyle, led to him being accused of hypocrisy and, during a news conference at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, faced a series of questions on his mental condition ahead of Sunday’s potential title showdown.

“I’m only human,” he replied. “Like everyone, we have up and down days. That’s what I’ve been really trying to convey.

“I think it is very difficult for people watching on social media to be able to relate to certain individuals and to live in a celebrity world.

“There is a lot going on in my life at the moment, but coming into this weekend I’m feeling very positive and I’m back to doing what I love doing.”

Recycle-able everything

Hamilton said he intended to make himself carbon-neutral by the end of this year, explaining that he is swapping his fuel-reliant road cars for electric cars.

“I don’t allow anyone in my office, but also within my household, to buy any plastics,” he said. 

“I want everything recycle-able down to deodorant, down to toothbrush, all these kind of things.

“I sold my plane over a year ago. I fly a lot less now. I try to fly less through the year and mostly fly commercial so that’s been a big change in my habits.”

Hamilton, 34, switched to a plant-based diet in 2017.

His career in Formula One has been accompanied by close media attention since he made a spectacular debut, in 2007, as the sport’s first black race-winning driver and his mood swings, when under pressure, have often attracted additional analysis. 

The mixed-race child of separated parents, he was an exceptional talent in karting who embraced social media to retain control of his own narrative, so far as he could, as he conquered F1.  

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