Lewis Hamilton revealed that his drop in form for the final two races of the season was due to his excessive partying after winning his fourth Formula 1 drivers' title at the Mexican Grand Prix on 29 October.
The Briton admits that he got a bit distracted, but made it clear that he will be 'absolutely disciplined' when preparations begin for the 2018 campaign. Hamilton immediately targeted a fifth world championship after he became the most successful British driver in the history of the sport.
The 32-year-old battled Sebastian Vettel since the start of the campaign but came into his own in the second-half of the season following the summer break. The Ferrari driver went into the break 14-points ahead of Hamilton, but the former McLaren driver won five out of the six races after the break before he wrapped up his title in Mexico despite finishing in ninth place.
However, he failed to win the last two races of the campaign with Vettel taking the win in Brazil after Hamilton crashed in qualifying and started from the pitlane, while Valtteri Bottas took the win in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton admitted recently that his focus was not 100% after he won his title, but vowed to come back stronger next season.
"I will be absolutely disciplined ahead of the next season. The cars will be harder to drive and that means I will have to train even harder. I won't be partying then," Hamilton said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"The week after I won the championship I partied a lot with my family and celebrated. That's what you do. I wouldn't say I was 100 per cent focused. Before the races earlier in the season I was, and I will be again," he added.
After the chequered flag had fallen on the final race of the 2017 F1 campaign, the focus shifted to the driver market with Hamilton yet to agree on a new deal with Mercedes. He is contracted until the end of next season but is keen to extend his stay with the Silver Arrows team.
It was being reported that the Briton was close to agreeing to a deal with Mercedes that will make him the highest paid driver alongside Ferrari's Vettel. Hamilton is expected to agree to a three-year deal similar to his title rival, worth around £120m ($159.5m).
Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff refused to give any details about the deal but confirmed that talks are set to take place in the coming days. Both the team and the driver want to extend the partnership that has yielded them three drivers' and four constructors' titles in the last four years.
"We will start those discussions now," Toto Wolff said of new contract talks with Hamilton, as quoted on Sky Sports.
"I think it's pretty obvious that we are the team of choice for Lewis and Lewis is the driver of choice for us. We have performed well together and l think we will want to continue for a few more years," the Austrian added.