Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he has become disillusioned with Formula 1 in the wake of the scandal over his actions in the stewards' office in Melbourne.
The start of the World Champion's title defense has been marred by both McLaren tumbling down the order and the fallout from Hamilton's disqualification for misleading the Australian Grand Prix stewards. He said the controversy had left him feeling drained and exasperated.
"It's got to be a similar feeling to anyone who goes to jail but feels they shouldn't be behind bars," Hamilton told Britain's The Times
newspaper. "That is the feeling I have had, although I know what happened in Australia was wrong.
"I just feel knocked about by it all. I want to be a driver – I am not in the sport to be a politician."
He insisted that he was able to put this frustration aside when he was racing and that it had not impinged on his performances.
"It hasn't affected my driving," said Hamilton. "I won't allow anything to affect my driving. But it affects your life, it affects the way you are. I used to enjoy Formula 1 and part of that has been taken away from me."
The 24-year-old conceded that recent events had left him pining for the tranquility of junior racing.
"I never imagined there would be so much politics when I came into Formula 1," Hamilton said. "It definitely was a shock. There has been too much time taken up with it.
"Unfortunately, it is the way the Formula 1 world works for some reason. It's much nicer in the lower categories, where all the people are there just to race and the teams are there just to race."