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Hamilton vows to 'eliminate' distractions in 2012

Laurence Edmondson at the Buddh International Circuit
October 30, 2011 « Senna suspects car problem | Button hails 'perfect job' in India »
Lewis Hamilton: "You just have to live and breathe Formula One and there's no room for anything else really" © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton has vowed by cut out all the distractions in his life in order to return to his best possible form next season.

By his own admission Hamilton has had a difficult 2011 and he is currently fifth in the drivers' standings, 26 points shy of McLaren team-mate Jenson Button. What's more he has faced more disciplinary action than any other driver and was hit with yet another penalty this weekend in India for ignoring yellow flags during a practice session.

On Thursday he also admitted that his recent break up with girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger had been "tough" and added: "These times are sent to try you".

Asked if he was planning to turn a page at the final few races, Hamilton said: "Well I don't know how you turn a page in life - I don't think there is a textbook way of doing it. I think it's just trying to collect things. I think life is like a puzzle, you've just got to get things in place. Formula One is a massively competitive sport where you have to have clear thoughts, you just have to live and breathe Formula One and there's no room for anything else really, I think.

"I plan to eliminate everything else in my life outside [F1], obviously not my family or anything like that, but eliminate anything else that can be a distraction. That's a start. Then the rest is just doing what I'm doing. My qualifying has been quite good - generally I'm happy with my qualifying pace, particularly at the last two races, but just generally through the year I think it's been good. I think the other one is in the race and staying out of trouble. That's something I'm just working on - the last race was a good stepping stone. Let's hope that I can continue on that path."

On Saturday McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh praised the efforts of both his drivers, but admitted the car had not been consistent enough. However, Hamilton said he should take the lion's share of the blame for his bad season.

"It's not been the best of seasons for me - lots of ups and downs," he added. "I think with the car we would have hoped to have more pace, more consistency I would say. But I think the team has done a fantastic job to get us to the position where we are today, where we are the second fastest team. We are able to split the Red Bulls and no-one else is really able to do that.

"I think Martin's very kind with his words, saying that the team has underperformed, but speaking for myself, my driving has been, for me, the biggest hazard. I can improve and that's what I'm working towards next year. Also staying out of the stewards' office is also a very big goal at the top of my priorities this year."

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