Lewis Hamilton has admitted to questioning his future in Formula One during the lockdown.
The six-time world champion said he had days when he struggled for motivation as he has waited to discover when the 2020 season may get under way amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Mercedes video filmed earlier this week, Hamilton said: “I have days when I wake up and feel groggy, I don’t feel motivated to work out. I feel, ‘Jeez, where are we going? What’s next? Should I continue racing?’
“I think all these different things, and then I’m like ‘Damn it!’, and the next hour, or whatever, it passes, and I’m like ‘Damn! I love what I do! Why would I ever consider not continuing?’”
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, Hamilton added: “Mentally it’s really about ultimately feeling good about yourself. It’s about finding a way to make sure you love yourself. You have to really be able to love yourself and be comfortable on your own.
“I’ve been really spending time trying to take time for me, making sure that I appreciate me, acknowledging things that you do well, acknowledging when you do well, acknowledging also when you fail and you don’t do it so great. It’s OK. And not being so hard on yourself, all these different things.”
Hamilton, who is in the final year of his Mercedes contract, had the opportunity this year to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles.
And the 35-year-old said he was hoping to use the lockdown to get better.
“If we are not improving and growing during these days then what are we doing? You’re obviously just wasting your time sitting on your backside,” he said.
“Nothing’s going to get handed to any of us. We’ve got to go out there and get whatever it is we want, and you’ve got to want it more than the person you’re fighting against. You’ve just got to get off your a**e and do it.
“I’m in pretty decent shape, but I can always be in better shape. I see things and I’m like, ‘Damn, I’ve got a bit of fat here. Shoot, I’ve got to work harder, I’ve got to go for a run’. In actual reality, I don’t really have much fat.
“But there are people out there that have these things going through their minds. You’ve just got to let go, find what it is you love and say I’m going to do it. I’m not going to let anything get in my way.”
F1 is looking to return in early July with back-to-back races in Austria before heading to Silverstone, although the British event remains in question following the UK Government’s decision to impose a 14-day isolation period for people entering the UK from June 8.