Lewis Hamilton vows to take the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix with him to the grave. That is, the grave of his career.
Did Hamilton and Rosberg truly never speak of the crash again, as Mercedes advised? Officially, that’s what happened, but the second crash in Austria made it clear that there was still plenty of air to clear over the unresolved entanglement. As you are, we’re dying to know, but Hamilton is firm about keeping mum about the incident until he no longer has skin in it. All he’s going to reveal is that the impact of the situation was devastating.
“I look at Barcelona for example this year, it was a massive low for me. There’s things you won’t know until I retire that I’ll tell you I experienced.”
With an opening line like that, it’s a little cruel to leave us hanging. But even titans like Hamilton have to look out for themselves in the dog-eat-dog F1 realm and that’s exactly what he’s doing. One thing he was candid about was the catastrophic effect failure once had on him when he was younger and more vulnerable and he’s adamant never to let it get to that point again.
“When I was younger, if I had a bad race, I was so hard on myself, it was a real negative.
“I remember some races, I wouldn’t leave my hotel room for three or four days – not speaking to anyone, not being on my phone. I was just trying to get myself out of this dark place I’d be in.
“Then somehow, I’d pop out of it and turn it into a positive. You’ve got to look at the situation, you’ve got to find the positives and leave the negatives behind.”
It seems that putting this conflict on the shelf where no one can see it is his way of doing it for now. It’s clear even to us that what happened between him and Rosberg is not the kind of thing that can be solved expediently. Should they all choose to hash out their differences at this moment, they’d have a world of resentments, grievances and misunderstandings to conquer, which would all take valuable time and energy from putting their best foot forward this season.
So how long will you have to wait for the missing pieces of the puzzle? Hamilton says that there is a definite plan for retirement in place, so it’s likely that we’ll get the full story within the next decade or so.
“Right now, I’ve signed for three years including this one with Mercedes, after that I see myself staying for another three years probably – three, four years – then I’m going to stop.”
Until then, we’ll have to be satisfied that Hamilton is still in for the fight and not locked in a hotel room with his inner demons.