Lewis Hamilton has opened up about the challenge of staying grounded in F1, having found it "almost impossible" to do this at times in his earlier career.
The Briton – who grew up in Stevenage – made his debut in the sport in 2007, and admits that it can prove difficult to avoid "levitating" when experiencing such a dramatic change of lifestyle.
Speaking to Australian broadcaster Fox Sports, Hamilton explained: "Let's be real, I think for anybody coming from a normal background – I grew up in a council estate, I grew up on my dad's couch, we didn't have a lot – and then all of a sudden, down the road, you're in the spotlight, things are thrown at you, you come into money...
"It's almost impossible not to levitate. You lift off, you start getting your head into cloud nine, and it's hard sometimes to see the wood from the trees."
How Hamilton stayed grounded
In order to combat this, Hamilton says that he has tried to ensure that he has a good support network around him.
"It does take good people around you. I remain close to my parents," the seven-time World Champion said.
"But I think, once you then come down and you get your feet back on the ground, you're still the same person.
"I'm very much in touch with my inner child. I'm still that kid that was eight years old, that wanted to be a World Champion, that went up to Ron Dennis and told him I was going to be the best driver in the world one day.
"And I think, for that, I'm really grateful."
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Alongside this, Hamilton has continued to focus on being grateful for where he is.
"I think also I'm very conscious of how lucky I am," the Mercedes driver added.
"I remember the jobs that I had [when I was younger], working in a pub, working for minimum wage, and getting your cheque at the end of the week, at the end of the month, whatever it is, and just knowing how much time and energy you put into it and having that balance.
"And I appreciate that, I appreciate everything that I have and everything that's around me and how hard everybody else around me works.
"So I'm no higher or lower than anybody on this team. I'm just another link in the chain of this amazing organisation and this whole circus, to be honest."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.