Rubens Barrichello has urged Lewis Hamilton to pay no attention to his critics despite the difficult time that the Briton has faced in recent races.
The 39-year-old Brazilian – who is taking part in a record 319th grand prix – gave his support to Hamilton after the McLaren man dominated a rain-hit day to lead team-mate Jenson Button and German champion Sebastian Vettel.
“It is important the day that you understand you can only depend upon yourself. What others say doesn’t matter. You need to be 100 percent right on your thoughts and you can put it out of your head,” Barrichello said.
“Opinions are there and criticism is there and you just have to deal with it and stop reading and stop learning what others think.
“The most important thing is to have a good heart, to be a good human being and perform the way that your family raised you. The rest – you are going to have bad times and good times.”
Barrichello added that Hamilton’s current difficulties – he has failed to deliver a podium finish in five races – have been magnified because he is a high-profile driver after winning the title in 2008.
“Lewis is in the limelight a bit, so people say so many things, and when so many things are said you start to believe that they are right,” he said.
“But I am on the outside – he is the one who has to believe.”
Meanwhile Hamilton said he felt boosted by the backing he has received from his McLaren team, who are rallying round to try to draw him out of his slump.
“I have been with the team since I was 13 years old. I think I have quite a unique relationship with the team,” Hamilton said.
“Regardless of how tough a year it has been, or how many problems we have had, I stay very close to their hearts and I think the same with me.
“They continue to support me and it is great to see that when they are having tough times us as drivers, me and Jenson, are able to lift them and vice versa.”