25 July 2013
Hamilton laid low by new relationship blow
"Nicole and Lewis split due to hectic work schedules and his refusal to commit," a source told Star magazine. "But he's having a hard time away from Nicole. He's starting to see what he's lost."
The two originally got together in 2007, but an earlier break-up in 2010 and 2011 was partly blamed for a poor string of performances by Hamilton in that year's championship battle. Hamilton later admitted that issues in his personal life had been getting to him and been impacting his driving, and that he envied his then-McLaren team mate Jenson Button's more stable personal situation which saw him surrounded by friends and family in the F1 paddock for every race, including his own long-time girlfriend Jessica Michibata.
"Jenson's done a great job to get things in the right place. He's got his dad there at every single race, he's got his management there, he's got his friends, he's got his girlfriend there all the time," Hamilton said at the end of the 2011 season. "He's in a really, really happy [place]. He's got a great bubble around him which he's very happy with and with that he's able to just go out and perform without any worries on his mind ... I did have [that] at one point and lost that bubble and I don't have that around me at the moment."
Reuniting with Scherzinger in 2012 put Hamilton back into a happier state of mind and that was reflected by his on-track performances within the limitations of that year's McLaren car, but Scherzinger's own work commitments which include being a judge on TV's The X Factor have meant she is an unavoidably infrequent presence in the F1 paddock at race weekends.
"It's so hard to keep up a relationship when they're barely in the same country as each other," admitted a source close to the couple. "Both have supported each other in their careers and will continue to do so, but the nature of their work ultimately cost their relationship."
But will the latest break-up now free Hamilton up to focus on his on-track activities, or will it instead hang heavy over the driver for the remainder of the 2013 season? For his part, Hamilton insisted that he was well aware that he has a job to do, regardless of his personal circumstances.
"I'm really trying to pull myself together and keep my head up but it's so hard to do," he said. "I have a job to motivate my team and if I come in with my head down and negative energy then that goes around to all my mechanics who work day and night, and I don't ever want that.
"When I get in the car I generally switch off and I feel at home and I feel in control and I'm in my own world," he said. "It's just me in the car on the track and nothing else. So that's when I feel my best and I feel most comfortable in my life."
That means it's ironically the breaks and holidays between races when he's away from the race track that are the most difficult and distracting times for him at the moment - not a good sign given the three-week hiatus between Germany and Hungary, which will be followed by a month off for the traditional F1 August summer shutdown until Spa.
Sure enough, he revealed that he had been spending the three-week gap between most recent races working on a song for Scherzinger in a recording studio in London: "My hideaway - pouring my heart into this track!!" he posted on Twitter.
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