Lewis Hamilton says he will not let his pursuit of Michael Schumacher’s records take over his life as he strives to balance Formula 1 and other life interests.
Hamilton wrapped up his sixth drivers’ championship at this year’s United States Grand Prix, leaving him one shy of Schumacher’s record of seven. He is also just eight adrift of Schumacher’s benchmark of 91 grand prix victories, but says it is important that he doesn’t let his desire for more success consume all of his time.
“There are the drivers and athletes who train all day, every day, too much — they’re too focused; they’re too intense,” Hamilton told the Press Association. “I read ‘The Alchemist’ (by Paulo Cuehlo), and I liked the story. There is this kid who meets the King. The King says to him, ‘I don’t have time for you right this second, but take this spoon with a drop of oil. I want you to go round to my house, enjoy it, and come back to me later. But don’t drop any of the oil’.
“So, the kid goes around focusing on making sure he doesn’t drop any of the oil; and when he comes back, the King asks him: ‘Did you see my great sculptures? Did you see my great paintings?’ And the kid says he didn’t because he was too focused on the spoon.
“That spoke to me. You can focus so much on your career and doing the perfect job that you miss the world, and your whole life can go by.
“For everyone there are certain sacrifices and choices you have to make. It really is about finding the right balance, though I wouldn’t change my life. I wouldn’t go back and change any of the sacrifices that I have made. I wouldn’t change anything. Racing has given my life purpose.”
Hamilton was speaking at the Gran Turismo World Finals in Monaco, and says he wants to use his influence to help future generations, having posted a number of emotional comments regarding the environment on social media last month.
“We all go through difficult days. I went through something yesterday, but I get positive messages from people, and I have good people around me, too. We all need to rely on each other. I am trying to have a positive impact. I look at Ayrton Senna. He was a star in the sky and I want to somehow get up there. It is important to find people like that, and that is what I am trying to be.
“If you look at young kids, they are pure spirits. We are not born with hate or negativity in our hearts. That is something we learn over time. It is passed to us by our parents, and whatever issues they have going on, and through people we interact with.
“It is always really important to stay true to your core values, and I am really fortunate that I have this amazing platform that I never thought I would have. I am trying to be the best person I can.”