Currently reading: Hamilton 'nearly quit' F1 in 2009
Britain's 2008 F1 champion came close to quitting F1 over last year's 'Liegate' scandal

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was close to quitting Formula One after he was accused of misleading stewards at last year’s Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren’s David Ryan lost his job and the team received a suspended three-race ban when race stewards challenged evidence Ryan and Hamilton gave them after the Briton swapped places with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli under a safety car period.

Hamilton was strongly criticised over the incident and has revealed he came close to turning his back on the sport following the scandal.

"I care about how people perceive me,” he said. “It was a feeling of, 'Shoot, maybe I shouldn't be in the sport,' rather than not in my team. This is my dream team and I am fortunate to have been here from the beginning [of my career].

"I never had a desire to drive for anyone else. So it was not a desire to leave the team, just to stop racing. For a split second it was, 'This is too much to take. How do I recover from this?''"

Hamilton revealed that the support he received from family and friends encouraged him to continue racing in F1.

“For a long period of time, for months, I would walk into a room - and I am sure there are some people who walked into the room and they feel cool - but for me I just didn't feel positive, it was negative energy and I don't like that,” he said.

"But slowly I began to realise that it was not all negative energy and I had a lot of support and respect from people. It made me stronger. It was a real strong experience."

Hamilton believes the situation has made him stronger, but wants to avoid a repeat scenario in the future in order to keep his integrity.

"I can't say what will happen in the future but I have always said I love the sport, I love winning and winning in the right way.,” he said. “Integrity is very important to me."

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LairdDrambeg 9 March 2010

Re: Hamilton 'nearly quit' F1 in 2009

The bottom line is that he felt like quitting because it was an injustice in Australia - a fit-up job by the Mosley mafia led by their bagman to further attempt to discredit McLaren and get rid of Ron Dennis, which worked. Some of us saw through it - the rest just love the aggro. Some people get inspired by a talented young man "on the rise" - others are just bitter about everything which passes them.

If anybody wants to recall what actually happened, he was given two contrary instructions and chose the 2nd as the answer. This all happened in the heat of battle, McLaren were confused about the correct procedure and Whiting gave his usual imitation of competence. Trulli was also less than honest and wallowed in the chance to incriminate.

Hamilton's thoughts expressed here is the reaction of an honest man. Oh and I'm not a particular fan of anybody but I do like to observe some degree of disinterest from "officials".

athan 9 March 2010

Re: Hamilton 'nearly quit' F1 in 2009

Autocar wrote:
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was close to quitting Formula One

Puhlease. Lewis considered quitting formula one the same way I consider not going to the office every morning while I'm shaving. But nobody tells him to keep these "thoughts" to himselfe, since he lives in a funny bubble where his you-know-what does not smell. Add to the mix that there's nothing real to write about before the racing starts and you end up with a stupid story about a 24 year old champion who almost quit the only life he's ever known. What a waste of time...

Lesia44 9 March 2010

Re: Hamilton 'nearly quit' F1 in 2009

The Colonel wrote:

There is no way he has not once, in his life, desired to race for Ferrari; at least. No way.

Very good point. There can't be a racing driver alive who hasn't wanted to sit in a red car at some point. Winning the championship is every racing driver's dream. Winning it for Ferrari is in a whole different league.