Whilst insisting that there is no 'friction' between the pair following their management split, Lewis Hamilton has conceded that 'it's not all smiles and happiness' right now with his father Anthony – someone that he has not spoken to 'for a couple of weeks'.
Early last month, the 2008 F1 World Champion announced that at his own initiation he had severed all professional ties with his dad, the man who had successfully looked after and guided his meteoric career from an early age and who was by his side at every single race that he contested.
Varying explanations and hypotheses have been offered up as to the reason behind the 'divorce' – from Hamilton's protestations that he simply felt it was time to strike out on his own, to Anthony's new driver management stable GP Prep and other more unsubstantiated rumours that particularly in the wake of the Melbourne lies scandal last year, McLaren feared Hamilton Snr was getting rather too big for his boots within the team and had to go.
Since the parting of ways, the eleven-time grand prix-winner has had a run-in with Australian police for his enthusiastic road car antics Down Under, been vilified by rivals for what was regarded as overly-aggressive driving in Malaysia and seen McLaren-Mercedes team-mate and title-winning predecessor Jenson Button outpoint him two-nil in the victory stakes thus far in F1 2010.
Now growing up on his own in the public spotlight and fierce global media glare, Hamilton contends that he is discovering new inner mental strength without the kind of family entourage that accompanies the likes of Button to grands prix and with only his personal trainer for companionship at race weekends – even if his mother and brother are likely to put in an appearance once the F1 circus returns to Europe next month. Anthony, however, will seemingly remain absent – as what began as an 'amicable' agreement has now degenerated into a near-complete lack of conversation.
“I quite like it,” the 25-year-old told British newspaper the Daily Express
. “No stress, quite relaxed – I don't have to worry about anyone. I'm quite comfortable with it. At the moment, I take care of the personal side myself and I have a great group around me at McLaren who look after everything else. I'm doing perfectly fine, enjoying life, taking my time in the decision process of finding a new manager, in no particular rush.
“I don't remember the last time I spoke with [my father], but it hasn't been for a couple of weeks. It is the same as last year, the same as it has always been. We used to talk a lot at the races, but generally I would go back to Switzerland and do my own thing. We might exchange a message every now and then, but we don't have too much to discuss at the moment. I'm speaking to the family; I don't speak to them every single day, but things are fine.
“I don't think there is any friction, but it's not all smiles and happiness. It's a big change, so it affects all of us. He's happy and busy doing what he's doing. We've been racing together for many, many years, so for him not to be coming to races anymore is a big transition for sure – but he has a lot more space and time now to focus on his projects, which is good.”