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Hamilton doubts he would have recovered from defeat in 2008

Written by  Nov 07, 2018

Lewis Hamilton believes his Formula 1 career would have never recovered had he suffered a second consecutive championship loss at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008.

Probably the most famous race of this generation, the decider between the Briton in the McLaren and Felipe Massa at Ferrari had everything and eventually saw enough rain on the final lap for Hamilton on intermediates to pass Timo Glock on slicks approaching Juncao to secure the title.

A year earlier, it was Lewis as a rookie on the other end of the spectrum as gearbox problems saw him fall down the field and allow Kimi Raikkonen to clinch the crown by a single point from Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

"It was definitely one of the most, if not the most devastating experiences losing the first year [in 2007]," he told ESPN. "Even though I didn't expect to win in my first year, the stresses and strains of going through that first year were too much to take as immature as my mind was.

"Then to have to dig myself out of that bottomless pit that I was in, because I was in a deep pit at the end of 2007, to come back in 2008, be strong, win the first race and then get to the end of the year again ... I don't know how I would have come back from it."

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Thankfully for the then 23-year-old things did fall his way on that crazy day in Sao Paulo although it would be another six years and a move to Mercedes later before he tasted championship success again, winning four of his five titles since 2014.

"I don't know how sportsmen find a way to come back," Hamilton continued.

"I know there are way worse things that can happen in life, but when you have a psychological low, you see sportsmen who are really great and then they have that one blow and it's hard for them to come back."

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