Lewis Hamilton says the controversial end to last year’s title fight made him consider his future but he does not want it to define his career.
The Mercedes driver lost out on an eighth world title in controversial circumstances at last year’s final race in Abu Dhabi.
“There was a moment when I lost a little bit of faith in the system,” said Hamilton.
“But I am generally a very determined person.
“And while moments like this might define careers, I refuse to let this define mine.”
Hamilton was leading in Abu Dhabi and on course for a record eighth world title when race director Michael Masi failed to operate the rules correctly during a late safety-car period.
That resulted in Hamilton being passed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on one final lap of racing after a restart.
The FIA has conducted an inquiry into what happened and on Thursday announced a series of changes to address it – including removing Masi as race director.
Hamilton said he had retreated to the comfort of his family as he sought to process what had happened.
“I never said I was going to stop,” he said. “But it was a difficult time for me and I really needed to step back.
“It was a time where I really needed to step back, focus on being present. I had my family all around me creating great moments.
“Eventually I got to a point where I decided I was going to be attacking again coming into another season.”