Former F1 racer John Watson has urged Lewis Hamilton to focus fully on his career, with the Briton being warned to decide if he 'wants to be an F1 driver or a hip-hop star'.

Hamilton switched from McLaren to Mercedes over the winter, with part of the reason for his decision being a desire to gain more freedom that he was able to enjoy during his time with the Woking-based team.

The 2008 title winner has already been seen in the paddock this year alongside his bulldog Roscoe, while he was comprehensively outperformed by team-mate Nico Rosberg over the course of the weekend in Monaco last time out.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Watson said he felt that Hamilton had now been granted too much freedom by his new employers, and needed to regain his focus to ensure his career doesn't head in the wrong direction.

"There is no place for a dog in the F1 paddock," Watson said. "For one thing, it is not fair on the animal. It might be in luxurious surroundings, but an engine firing up is like a firecracker or bomb going off for a dog. It's not right.

"It just shows that Mercedes are bending over too far to please Lewis. There is absolutely no way McLaren would have allowed it. Lewis wanted more freedom from McLaren and he has got that, but it can go too far the other way. Lewis has to decide if he wants to be an F1 driver or a hip-hop star. At the end of the day, you have got to respect the job that you are doing.

"He went to Mercedes with the reputation of being the man who would get the job done. Niki Lauda took the credit for getting him in there. Niki is a experienced former driver who won three world titles. You don't do that just being quite nice and he should be there trying to help Lewis work his way through the problems and point out what Mercedes expect from him.

"If your life was on the line and it was all down to one lap, you would back Lewis over Nico every time. But it is just not happening for him at the minute and he needs to start working out why."

Watson added that Hamilton had to react quickly before his rivals were able to react to what they may seem to be a potential weakness.

"Lewis needs to respond now and quickly resolve the issues," he said. "If you keep getting beaten by your team-mate then you damage your own commodity.

"Other competitors then spot that you have a flaw and they will dismiss you. Very quickly you are off their radar and when that happens it is very difficult to recover."



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