Lewis Hamilton says the void in his relationship with father Anthony Hamilton was "like the Grand Canyon" at the time of their messy managerial split.
Hamilton Senior was the three-time world champion's manager until 2010 – two years after Hamilton's first title win – before the pair became embroiled in a complicated split.
According to Lewis, who opened up on the topic in a 60 Minutes interview that aired last night in the US, the split affected both the personal relationship with his father, and his performances in the car.
"It was a point where I was like, 'Dad, I just want you to be my dad'. And – that was incredibly hard for him to take and it was hard for me to do it," Hamilton said.
"It had to be a hard break at the time. That bridged a gap between us that was, like, the Grand Canyon."
When asked if the split took its toll on his racing, Hamilton said: "Absolutely. Yeah."
More of a manager than a father
Anthony Hamilton, who was also featured as part of the 60 Minutes documentary, says that he knew he wasn't being enough of a father figure for his son, but that it needed to be that way if Lewis was to be successful in F1.
"My desire for him to be so successful took me over from being the father to more manager," he said.
"But if I'd have stayed the father, I, he probably wouldn't have been as successful."
Hamilton Senior added that, in hindsight, Lewis made the right call to fire him as manager.
"I couldn't understand it. What do you mean you don't need me? So that hit me pretty hard.
"But it was – it was probably the best thing. You know, he's not a boy anymore. He wasn't a kid anymore. He was a Formula 1 world champion."
Listen to Lewis Hamilton's first songs
Hamilton also used his 60 Minutes appearance to showcase his new music for the first time.