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Personal Problems Hurt Hamilton's Championship Chances

Reflecting on a tough season Lewis Hamilton has said problems in his personal life contributed to his failure to recapture the Formula One title in 2010. The 2008 British World Champion was speaking with BBC Radio when he made the comments. Although, Hamilton didn't specify what the personal issues were, the young McLaren driver did start his 2010 campaign in March amid a the fallout from the high-profile decision to drop his father, Anthony Hamilton, as manager. "The personal life, the way things have gone have not been as smooth and as happy as they could have been in the past and to do what I do is a combination of many, many things that are surrounding you," Hamilton said. "It's not just arriving at the race track and driving, it's your appearances, it's your mood swings, it's the people that are around you - your family and your friends - and the time that you are able to give to them and the relationship that you have with them. As soon as some of those things are off - and you've not got all those pieces of the puzzle in place - then it makes it very hard to do other aspects of your life as easily. The key I think to life is getting all those pieces of the puzzle in place." Hamilton finished fourth in the drivers' championship this year, 16 points adrift of the new youngest World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Though the McLaren driver also admitted that this is not a performance he is proud of. "It's been a long time since I finished out of the top three of a Championship in my career," Hamilton explained. "Finishing fourth is not something that I'm not particularly proud of. "We had a solid couple of bad races where I lost points which would have put me in a much stronger position to compete for the Championship at the end of the year and really just throughout the year in general." Speaking about his championship campaign for 2011, Hamilton said he was trying to banish these personal issues, or as he called them "outside intrusions" from his mind, and believes he is in a better position heading into 2011. "My plan right now is to smooth everything off and make sure that next year I am 100% clear in my mind and have no outside intrusions mentally. "I look at the likes of Tiger Woods. He's had many, many things that have had an impact on him this year, but he still plays, he still pars it, he still gets birdies. But that to him is a bad year, but to other people when everything is right he is amazing."

Image ©Andrew Hone

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