<
>

Lewis Hamilton: 'Awesome' to win over doubters

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton says it is an "awesome" feeling to be winning over doubters who have criticised his lifestyle outside of Formula One.

The three-time world champion has earned a number of critics who have claimed that his off-track activities have affected his focus and form, particularly during the final three races of 2015 -- won by Nico Rosberg -- and after a difficult start to 2016.

When asked for his thoughts on former McLaren driver John Watson admitting that he has changed his opinion on the Briton's lifestyle choices, Hamilton replied: "Well firstly I think that's awesome. I like that view and -- including myself -- in general I think it's easy for all of us to get stuck in our ways and in our views.

"Sometimes we're not open-minded about things and being willing to shift your perception or your opinions. I think it's taken a long time, it's been ten years! I've definitely seen plenty of interesting stories from him so it's nice that is the case. For me, I just live the life the way I want to live it and there's not a day goes by that I regret living it.

"I really believe that you never know when it's your last day so the most important thing is to enjoy and embrace whatever opportunity it is that you have ahead of you and if you've got set goals put everything into it."

Hamilton has overturned a 43-point deficit to Mercedes teammate Rosberg, outscoring his title rival by 62 points since their opening-lap collision in Spain, to take a 19-point advantage into the second half of the season.

Hamilton hopes he can continue his form in the remainder of 2016 and change more people's perceptions on how he spends his time outside of F1.

"I think that's a really positive thing to see -- not only in this little scenario but in life in general -- when people do turn," he said.

"Every day I want to continue to do what I do and drive the way I drive and hopefully over the next God knows how many years, if I change one other person's perception I think that would be a success."