Lewis Hamilton says it is “incredibly difficult” making the sacrifices required to ensure he remains at the top of his game in Formula 1.

A 21-race calendar and long stretches of time away from family due to travel commitments puts a strain on many personnel working within the F1 paddock, including the drivers. Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, announced on the eve of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend that he was splitting from wife Emilia after three years of marriage.

Speaking about the impact the hectic F1 schedule has on drivers at the season finale, the six-time world champion opened up about the difficulties of finding the right balance.

“I think it’s probably similar to most sportsmen and women really,” Hamilton explained when asked about the sacrifices drivers have to make. 

“It maybe slightly different in that we are travelling as much as we are, and you are just away for crazy amounts of time, so that’s probably an additional weight load that makes it really, really tough to hold down a good relationship, and if things aren’t quite perfect.

“But I think in general for athletes, having the right mindset and trying to find the right balance of how dedicated you are as opposed to resting back and enjoying your quality time, all these different things.

“It’s different for everyone, but having spoken and read about other athletes in different sports, it’s obviously quite similar for all of us.

“But there are those that manage it, look at Seb[estian Vettel],” he added. “There are many athletes who have generally happy lives in the background.

“But I for one also find that incredibly difficult, with your goal to be as competitive as you can be, ultimately you want to be 100 percent committed because you never want to be any less committed than the person next to you, and there are certain things that are also added on responsibilities or extra load bearings that you can take away from that.

“There’s only a certain amount of you as a whole that you can give to everything. It depends how much of a sacrifice you want to make.”

F1 is set to embark on its longest-ever season with an unprecedented 22 races in 2020, while owners Liberty Media are keen to expand the calendar further to 25 rounds and beyond.

Hamilton has previously voiced his concerns about additions to an already frenetic schedule, saying 25 races would be “pretty hardcore”.

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