CNN  — 

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton said he has “struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time” in a candid social media post on Thursday.

Writing in an Instagram Story, the seven-time F1 champion said he has endured “a tough year already with everything that is happening around us” and that it is “hard some days to stay positive.”

However, he also offered support and reassurance to his followers.

“I’m writing to tell you it’s ok to feel the way you do, just know that you are not alone and that we are gonna get through this!” Hamilton added.

“A friend reminded me today, you are so powerful & you can do anything you put your mind to!”

Having narrowly been beaten to the F1 title last season by Max Verstappen, Hamilton has started this season with a third-place finish in Bahrain and a 10th-place finish last weekend in Saudi Arabia.

Hamilton attends a press conference ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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It puts the 37-year-old, who has the most race wins in F1 history, in fifth place in the driver standings ahead of next week’s Australian Grand Prix, one place behind Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Mercedes has experienced a difficult start to the season and currently trails Ferrari by 40 points in the constructor standings.

Following Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – which was preceded by an attack, claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, on an oil storage facility near the track – Hamilton spoke of his relief that the weekend was over, saying he was “just looking forward to getting out.”

In 2020, he also spoke about his mental health struggles during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a bubble system and back-to-back race weekends leading to loneliness on the tour.

“It’s never a bad thing to ask for help if you need it or to tell somebody how you feel,” Hamilton said at the time.

“Showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak, instead, I like to think of it as a chance to become stronger.”

CNN’s Sammy Mngqosini and Ben Church contributed to reporting.