ABU DHABI: Formula One star Lewis Hamilton on Thursday said that he felt helpless and found it “difficult to wake up each day” knowing children were dying in Gaza.

The British seven-time world champion revealed it had been hard to compartmentalize his feelings about the atrocities taking place in the Israel-Hamas war as he tried to focus on his job ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Speaking to Arab News at Yas Marina Circuit, he noted that the ongoing conflict had been on his mind.

“I think it’s been a very strange period for us because we are in such a bubble here. We arrive at all these different places and there’s so much positivity in our little bubble.

“And this year … I think it’s difficult to wake up each day knowing there are thousands of kids dying and there’s nothing you can do about it and the rest of the world just goes on as it is,” he added.

Last month, Hamilton posted a message on Instagram calling for a ceasefire and urging world leaders to “work for peace, not war” to end the violence.

He said: “It’s massively disappointing to see how countries and governments are handling it and just to think where we are in 2023. With everything through history, it doesn’t look like we’ve learned anything.

“So, to be able to compartmentalize that and just go ahead with your job, I think, is difficult. It’s all over social, there’s not a day you don’t see something pop up on the news. You just try to remain positive through the darkest time.”

While some drivers had been complaining about burnout at the end of the longest F1 season in the sport’s history, Hamilton pointed out that he was “emotionally drained” due to world events rather than physically exhausted from his racing campaign.

“I’m not burned out. I’d rather not keep going into the season, but I think for me I’m just more emotionally drained at the end of the year.

“It’s obviously a very long season. I think really with all the negativity in the world as well, it’s been quite draining just to maintain a positive mindset through the year,” the Mercedes driver added.

Hamilton, 38, arrived in Abu Dhabi in third place in the season’s driver standings, behind the Red Bull pairing of world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, who secured P2 in Las Vegas last weekend.

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