The key to being a really quick Formula One driver is to take risks on the racetrack and be in no rush to start a family, according to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
The 2008 world champion cast himself as an old-fashioned racer entranced by the whiff of petrol in his nostrils and the roar of an engine in his ears.
“I think the guys in the older days were taking risks, their lives were more at risk I guess. I would have loved to have driven in the olden days,” said the 26-year-old.
“I don’t know why I’m like that but I’ve always been like that, more on the risky side. Not on the risk side to put others in danger but just I am willing to take just a little bit more.”
Hamilton’s driving has been a source of regular controversy this season, with crashes and collisions bringing him into repeated contact with stewards.
The Briton, who could well take his third win of the season in Singapore this weekend, said before the Italian GP that he had become an “easy target” in one of the toughest years of his career. While he has said he will do his utmost to stay out of trouble, he is not about to change his style.
Asked about a recent comment by the retired German driver Hans Stuck, whose best ever finish was third place, suggesting Hamilton should undergo therapy, the Briton replied: “For me? How did he do in Formula One?”
“Not so well,” came the answer. “Exactly. Exactly. That says it all,” said Hamilton.
“I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-faster drivers,” he said. “You see generally older drivers sometimes that have families kind of lose a little bit.”
With the governing International Automobile Federation planning an electric racing series from 2013, Hamilton was asked whether he could imagine racing in them. “Hopefully I won’t be around then. Motor racing has something special.
“There’s the danger aspect, which is special. And then there’s the smell and the sound of the engines. If you took that away, it just wouldn't be the same,” he said.