May 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Lewis Hamilton says he is no longer under the control of others after leaving McLaren for Mercedes.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror Hamilton described how his father Anthony and McLaren boss Ron Dennis acted as controlling influences on his life.
“I have been in a very controlled environment since I can remember and it’s not until the last couple of years that I’ve come out of that control,” said Hamilton.
“No one controls me now. I’m able to be my own man.”
Hamilton also referred to how some of the difficulties he’d experienced in recent seasons related to problems in his personal life.
“There was particularly an experience where in my personal life I was having someone saying things to me which was really affecting me. That was three years ago,” he explained.
“It wasn’t aimed to help me,” he added. “And unfortunately, it did affect me. Now I don’t have that.”
Hamilton has previously referred to difficulties in his personal life affecting his on-track performance during 2010 and 2011. In the latter season he was involved in a series of collisions during races and provoked further questions about his state of mind when he appeared unhappy after breaking Red Bull’s monopoly on pole position at the Korean Grand Prix.