Hamilton admits to "battling demons" during sixth world title win

Newly crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has opened up about struggling with his mental health. The British racing superstar has admitted he has been “battling demons” on the road to his sixth drivers’ championship.

The Mercedes driver sealed his triumph with a second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, putting him within touching distance of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven titles.

Despite his success, Hamilton has spoken out about how tough 2019 has been for him.

“I try to show people that, from the outside, things always look great but it's not always the case,” said the 34-year-old.

“I am struggling with lots of different things and battling certain demons.”

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“When you look in the mirror each day, whether you feel good or you feel bad, there is always the darker side that's trying to pull you down,” added the 34-year-old.

He admitted that the deaths of Niki Lauda and Formula Two racer Anthoine Hubert have deeply affected him. Taking to Twitter following his recent success, Hamilton dedicated his US Grand Prix win to Lauda, who initiated Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013.

Lewis Hamilton admits that the death of his friend and mentor Niki Lauda has hit him harder than he expected. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

“This one’s for you, Niki. I’ll continue to make you proud.” Hamilton wrote to his late friend and mentor.

He spoke about the loss of his Austrian colleague and the impact it’s had on his mental state: “It was really upsetting and I miss him dearly. I didn't realise how much I loved the guy.”

Hamilton went on to talk about the death of 22-year-old French driver Hubert, who died in a crash at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps during the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

Hamilton reflects on the death of 22-year-old Anthoine Hubert and questions whether it's time to stop racing. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

“We also lost a young kid in Spa,” The Mercedes champion said. “When something like that happens, it can put a lot of doubt in your mind and you have to bat that off. You think, ‘Jeez, is it time to stop or shall I keep going?’

“There's lots of life after F1 and I want to spend time with my family.”

Hamilton’s latest championship sees him move above Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio, who claimed five in the 1950s, with only Schumacher left to catch.

Hamilton also just needs eight more victories to level with the German’s all-time race win record of 91.

Lewis Hamilton's sixth world title makes him the second greatest Formula One driver in the world statistically. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Four-time world champion and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel praised his rival on his triumph and applauded how strong he has been.

Despite his current struggles, Hamilton seems set on continuing his impressive career. The Stevenage-born racer went on to say: “I love doing what I do so much that I don't think there's a lot that can particularly stop me.”

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