Lewis Hamilton has spoken candidly about his attempts to repair what he says has been “not the easiest of relationships” with father Anthony.
The six-time world champion was managed by his father when he started in Formula 1 in 2007.
But that working relationship ended in 2010, after which they did not speak for a time.
“Our journey hasn’t been an easy one,” said Mercedes driver Hamilton on social media.
“Over time, we lost that father-son bond and it has been something we have both wanted back for so long.”
The 35-year-old added: “The past couple years we’ve been growing closer and this winter break I asked my dad to come visit me so we could spend some time together, just us.
“We haven’t done this before, so to finally get to spend quality time with him has brought me so much happiness.
“Family is the most important thing in the world. You can’t choose your family but you can make it work with them no matter what your differences. They are the ones that will be there when you have nothing.”
Hamilton’s father funded his karting career when he started out aged eight, until he was picked up by McLaren at the age of 11, and they stayed close until their relationship broke down in 2010.
Hamilton gave an insight into the pressures his success in his career had put on the family.
“He worked so hard to create an opportunity for us as a family and because of him I am where I am today,” he said.
“In the search for success, with the pressure it put on us all, we were so immersed in the drive to succeed that we lost sight of what was most important – our relationship.”
Hamilton’s remarks follow a series of social media posts over the past few weeks showing him and his father on holiday together on what appears to be a tropical island.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team unveil their 2020 car on Friday, 14 February before pre-season testing starts at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 19 February.
It is the machine Hamilton hopes will take him to a seventh world title, which would equal the record of Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton is also just seven victories short of the German’s record 91 wins, a mark he will surpass this season if he keeps up his average of 10 victories a year which he secured since Mercedes started their dominant run in 2014.
In an earlier post, Hamilton said: “I’m going to be a machine this year; on another level than ever before.”