Lewis Hamilton feared he may not be able to recover from the incident which saw him punished for lying to race stewards.
The McLaren driver insisted he never considered switching teams after the incident in Melbourne, when he was persuaded by then sporting director Dave Ryan to mislead stewards, but did ponder his future in the sport.
“There was a lot to take on board after what had gone on,” he was quoted as saying in the Sunday Telegraph. “I care about how people perceive me.
“It was a feeling of ‘shoot, maybe I shouldn’t be in the sport’ rather than not in my team.
“This is my dream team and I am fortunate to have been here from the beginning [of my career].
“I never had a desire to drive for anyone else. So it was not a desire to leave the team, just to stop racing.
“For a split second it was ‘this is too much to take. How do I recover from this?”‘