Lewis Hamilton, 2018

Formula One won’t suffer when I retire – Hamilton

2018 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says Formula One won’t suffer his absence when he chooses to retire from the sport.

The four-times world champion, who is one of the sport’s most popular drivers, is in discussions with Mercedes about extending his contract to drive for them beyond the end of this season.

Mercedes W09, 2018
First pictures: Mercedes W09 launch
However Hamilton says when he does choose to step down the sport won’t be damaged by losing one of its most popular drivers.

“I don’t think the sport will suffer,” he said at the launch of the new Mercedes W09. “I think Formula One fans are Formula One fans and they will be there.”

“I think there’s going to be a lot of exciting young drivers coming through,” Hamilton continued. “I think my fans might be upset at some stage, naturally, that’s normal.”

“But I’m really excited about staying here and I’ll continue to stay while I’ve still got the fire left. I love this job. Last night I went ot the factory after the the photoshoot and I did the eat fit and I was saying to the guys it’s been six years I’ve been her, it’s crazy, And I was leaving the factory and driving away and I’m conscious that one day I will not be doing that any more and I was really able to enjoy that moment.”

“It’s crazy to think I’ve been doing it so long and I still have that feeling. And I think it’s just that I appreciate it.”

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“I don’t think Formula One will suffer I think it will continue to grow. It’s got new management in place. I’d like to think I’ve been a part of its growth. And even if I stop I may still be an integral part of the sport.

“And there are exciting things in the pipeline that hopefully will carry on beyond my racing. Things like you’ve seen this year we’ve got Tommy Hilfiger as our partner, that was through a lot of work myself building that relationship with Tommy. The team were amazing to allow it to happen and that’s some new, exciting blood that’s coming into the team.

Hamilton said he’d taken a very long break over the winter to prepare for the new season.

“It was actually the longest break that I’ve had in 10 years because normally you have a bit of December and a bit of January,” he said. “I’m really recharged. It’s been a long, hard slog last year. I had to recharge, have everyone around me. I feel great. I think if I’d come back a month earlier I wouldn’t feel as well as I do now.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Formula One won’t suffer when I retire – Hamilton”

  1. Tommy? Tommy Stroll? Cool.

    1. Lewis getting that Lance Stroll money.

  2. What’s an “eat fit”? Is that where you sit in the car and keep eating until you fit snug?

    (I know it was a typo, but it was a funny mental image to me…)

  3. do you feel like you are VR46 of F1? far from it. Rossi helped established MotoGP and will be a great loss to MotoGP if he retires. However, F1 already has a huge fan base with or without you and is fairly established thanks to no other than Bernie and Max Mosley who are currently 2 of the most unpopular figure in F1.

    1. “I don’t think the sport will suffer, I think Formula One fans are Formula One fans and they will be there.”

      Exactly what Hamilton said himself…

      1. @sparkyamg well said. It’s not the longest article in the world chris, how about reading it before commenting?

        1. He wans’t going to read it even if was only a single line of text.

      2. I actually think F1 is going to suffer when he’s gone.
        VR46 is a different case, in the end there are other talented and somewhat charismatic riders there. In f1 there’s no one else for the British market and viewership, f1 is going to crumble if Lewis leaves, especially if pay tv is still on contract by then.

      3. to even think about it on his part means that he thinks his retirement will affect F1.

  4. But I hope he’ll stay long enough to see a fight between the top 4 drivers in equal powerful and reliable machinery.

  5. ”I did the eat fit and I was saying to the guys it’s been six years I’ve been her” – LOL.

    1. @jerejj

      He is of course referring to his secret sex change op ;)

      @keithcollantine may want to do a quick change on that before the Sun picks it up and runs it in tomorrow’s rag!

      1. I can already see it “as reported in f1’s most reputable online specialised website…”

  6. In the history of F1, there are several periods that the greats from that era retire almost simultaneously. For instance early nineties: Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet all left the sport within three years. They made way for (or were beaten by) Schumacher, Hakkinen, Hill and Alesi.

    When Hamilton, Raikkonen, Vettel and Alonso quit the new era will consist of Verstappen, Ocon, Leclerc, Norris etc. A great prospect!

    1. Putting alesi between these is very generous to him, his only race win was cause of a mechanical problem of schumacher when he was like half a minute in front of him!

      For the rest yes, we’re getting very good new drivers, think vandoorne is also good, raikkonen will probably be on the last year, alonso should be here 3 more years and hamilton and vettel around 6.

  7. Actually, F1 willsuffer – it will lose a kind of ambassador to the non-devotees of F1.

    Let’s think about it – the only two formula 1 drivers casual observers/people not into F1 seem to know nowadays are Michael Schumacher (F1’s most successful driver ever) – and Lewis Hamilton. At least, that’s the case with my friend circle.

    Take away Lewis, and you lose a big chunk of headlines the sport makes outside its circles – put it down to his aura, his fashion sense, or World Championships. He’s the one representing Formula 1 on most reality shows/other mainstream media, and he’s easily the most-known name outside of F1. Maybe not always, but in most cases, this holds true.

    People may be fans of F1 in general, sure, but Liberty’s aim is to get as many people to watch Formula 1 as possible. It’s kind of easy to get more people to watch Formula 1 at the moment because of the “Hamilton effect” – it does exist, however a big a grudge one has on him, and it’s kind of obvious that he’s the lynchpin that keeps the words “Formula 1” floating around in public forums.

    1. I think by the time LH retires from F1, Liberty itself will have done much more with social media, and rising stars the likes of Max will easily fill any voids from veterans retiring.

      1. Maybe that’s true to an extent, but you must say, it’s kinda tough imagining Max reaching the levels of mainstream popularity Lewis has now.

        And I’m a Max fan :#

        1. It’s true, schumacher was f1 back then, even the ones who didn’t follow it knew who he was (and I still notice that now that he retired since a few years), hamilton reached the same level of popularity, but I think verstappen has all tools (except the car for now!) to become the next driver everyone knows about in f1!

          1. YellowSubmarine
            23rd February 2018, 22:04

            Off the race track, Verstappen has about as much personality as a bank door. The people with publicity value and pull outside of a strictly f1 context are Lewis and Alonso. They’re the only ones to regularly make headlines that aren’t directly about f1.
            I was a kid in the early 90s, studying German at high school, and was attracted to f1 after reading about a then-young German f1 talent called Schumacher. His name was all over the German media, and other media soon picked it up and ran with it. It’s similar for Lewis and Alonso – they’re all over social and traditional media. Let’s hope more drivers emerge with the combination of speed and personality that makes those two so well-known around the world.

  8. No it wont suffer, it might thrive! One less polarising character.

  9. I guess in some ways it will be good for the sport.

    Loosing Nico was bad, because Hamilton went almost unchallanged from his teammate.

    But in reality loosing Hamilton would only benefit the sport if he was too dominant and he got wins and titles to easy, devaluing the show.

    Or if he becomes outclassed and we need some young buck to dwthrone the new dominant driver.

    Most likeley though him retiring would decrease the overall value of competition in F1.

  10. Le Clerc, Russell, Verstappen and Ricciardo will carry the sport forward as Hamilton acknowledges; there is a wealth of driving talent and personality there. I hope Lewis gets a chance to win with another team before he leaves, though. Maybe another stint at MacLaren, when the Honda comes good after 2021?

    1. Mmm, hamilton, like schumacher, has shown a certain loyalty to the team, schumacher only left benetton after some cheating accusation episodes towards the team and then stayed with ferrari till his first stint ended, and hamilton stayed with mclaren until it was starting to really go downwards, left at the right time and now with this level of performance of the car, I don’t see him leaving anytime soon.

      However I’ve read somewhere he wouldn’t mind driving for ferrari at some point, so maybe at the end of his career, thereby aiming to win a title with 3 different teams, which not many drivers did.

  11. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    22nd February 2018, 17:38

    F1 always suffers when a big star leaves but the treadmill keeps turning and those fans said driver brought in follow a new star.

  12. Hammy, honey, the only thing that will suffer when you retire is your off-shore bank accounts and investments. No one should be worried about this.

  13. He won´t retire until he has got his music and fashion career sorted out, I don´t think that he wants to fade away into insignificance but I also feel that he will want to leave the sport at the top so there is the risk that he could leave during the Mercedes era of dominance which may end this year or next.

    Another factor that I feel will come into play is if he wins the WDC this year, he will only then be 2 WDC´s off of schumachers record and might think (well, another 3 years and i could knock the shoe make from his perch).

    If I had to put a bet down, I´d bet that he will be off the second he thinks that Mercedes dominance is coming to an end. Because he wants to leave on a high, at the top and be remembered in top form. So in the next 2 years I think.

    I don’t really care to be honest, he is an brilliant driver and I think he is basically a ¨very ok person¨ but he is also a slave to celebrity and seems to like it that way which makes it very difficult for me to relate to him.

  14. Oh thank god he cleared that up i was working that Formula Lewis was going to shut down when he left. If anyone else made comments like that people would be all over them.

  15. worried* Keith please give us an edit button we have been asking for years

  16. This is one of article where the question asked need also to be written inside the article, not just the answer. No one will just blurt out something like that and some people would just assume the subject in question have too much ego.

    Anyway, I think it’s obvious F1 as a sport is always bigger than a single driver. F1 will go on, nobody doubt that. The one who potentially suffer if Hamilton retires is actually other drivers, and that of course heavily depends on whom and how he retires.

    The best scenario is someone beat him before he retires. As it is, Hamilton is the greatest driver on the grid today. Whoever beats and “retires” him will be the first candidate for the next best driver in the new era assuming he can get at least 2 WDC and preferably back to back, unless their name is Vettel or Alonso (who already did those feats). Just like Alonso who dethrone Schumacher and Ferrari or Vettel who picks up after that. Hamilton himself only now truly considered one of the best of all time even though he got his first WDC before Vettel did. Anyway my point is Hamilton is the current gatekeeper for considered as best driver. In this scenario, the one who beats him will profit a lot.

    The worst scenario is if Hamilton just suddenly retires, either while still on top or just defeated once. In this case whoever wins the WDC in next few years will always be compared with him. Questions if Hamilton is still around will he or won’t he beat them will be asked. And the worst part is every champion will be behind his shadow until we got another domination era because in the mind of common people, Hamilton will be still unbeatable.

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