Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2019

Hamilton doesn’t intend to retire any time soon

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has given further indications he plans to extend his career well beyond the end of his current contract, which expires after the 2020 F1 season.

The Mercedes driver took a major step towards securing his sixth world championship last weekend in Hungary. He lies 62 points clear of his closest championship rival, team mate Valtteri Bottas, with nine races remaining.

That would leave Hamilton one title away from Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven. Hamilton has also moved within 10 victories of Schumacher’s record tally of 91 wins.

His latest comments on his future indicate Hamilton intends to stay in F1 long enough to have a realistic chance of breaking both records.

“I was saying to my guys just now we had our first win here together 2013 and we’ve just been going from strength to strength,” said Hamilton following his win on Sunday. “The majority of the people are still the same people that are here from when I joined and this long, long journey we’ve gone on together it’s been remarkable. I think right now I’m just excited to see what more we could do together and what’s next.”

Hamilton says he has paid attention to when other sportspeople have chosen to retire. “I honestly don’t know why some people decide to stop at the times they decide to stop,” he said. “But I tell you, I love driving, man.

“I’ve never liked practice – I don’t mind practice on the race weekends but testing, I’ve always made that clear, I don’t really enjoy that so much.

“But I really love the challenge, arriving this weekend and digging into the data. Trying to pull up – this weekend Bono [race engineer Peter Bonnington] is not feeling so great – lifting him up, because last weekend I was going through crap and he lifted me up and carried most of the weight. I just love that rapport that you have with this group of people.

“One day I will have to stop but right now I feel fantastic. Physically, generally this year, and mentally. So I don’t currently have any plans of stopping any time soon. And there’s more to do, there’s more to win, there’s more to achieve together, inside and outside of the car, within the sport and outside the sport.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 37 comments on “Hamilton doesn’t intend to retire any time soon”

    1. *F1 fans which hoped to see changes and new battles in 2021 suddenly decided to quit immediately”

      1. Why @dallein?

        I think Hamilton wants to see much the same as we all want. We want top drivers like Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc, Vettel and others like Sainz, Ricciardo, Russel, Norris being fast and challenging each other. The best is when it aren’t the same teams all the time – we had Ferrari being almost there earlier in the year, and possibly in the races after the break. And we now have had Verstappen really being there with Red Bull for a few races.

        What is not to like?

        1. Considering the level of h@te towards Lewis and general disappointment with F1, I totally believe many will just stop following if Lewis decides to stay (especially at the top).

          1. Wow, I guess I am on the wrong channels then, because I don’t see much of that towards Hamilton at all!

            1. @bascb it’s died down on here since it became clear to them Seb isn’t in the same league but the hatred on Twitter (where most of the breaking news and direct team and driver output is found) is absolutely putrid. Everything from outright racism and worse.

        2. Twitter is a cesspool of hatred in general.

      2. Yeah– No one wants to see a successful competitor, no one wants to see the up and coming drivers have to battle it out with the reigning champion. There’s no interest in that at all.

        Apparently for you, the glass is not only half empty, it’s cracked as well.

    2. I watched Hamilton in the interviews after the race – with Buxton and with others, and yeah, I got the feeling that he really was so stoked with this race long battle with Max Verstappen.

      That kind of winning a race by being just that bit faster and making a good call and making it work (also how he first didn’t believe they could, but tried and made it work) against a driver driving at his best must be one of the most satisfying things one can do in sports.

      To Hamilton probably a lot more satisfying than just winning with having a car that is far faster. So yeah, I really don’t see any good reasons right now why he would want to stop anytime soon.

      1. @bascb Good, I want to see more battles between Hamilton and Verstappen. And throw Leclerc and Vettel in the mix as well! The future might as wel be bright after all.

        1. It is, isn’t it @matthijs!

          The more I think about that last race, the more I think I should have rated it higher. Because this was not a freak race like Austria or Hockenheim, where Verstappen got the chance because of circumstances as much as his driving.
          This was a real battle between teams and drivers operating at the top of their skills.
          And yeah, I also enjoyed seeing Vettel seeming to get on top of his disappointments, we need him to nail some good races to get back in the fight. Leclerc mentioned where he feels he needs to learn. So clearly he is working on getting back on top of being to harsh on tyres and making mistakes, so he will be right in the mix too.
          Let’s hope Ferrari stop messing up the car and the strategy. And who knows, maybe McLaren will be a tad closer next year and be a bit of a podium challenger at some races too!

          1. Well said @bascb and @matthijs, let’s have more of this stuff!

        2. It is good. It’s even possible that Mclaren might edge closer to the, as well BUT…..

          Just as that happens (or is happening) all the regulations will change and it’s quite probable that we’ll return to a situation where 1 team may well dominate for several years again.

          The Liberty fans keep saying “this time it will be different” but experience tells me that won’t be the case.

      2. Yeah, it was really was refreshing to see drivers RACING for the win, instead of saving tires, or engines, or considering a host of other issues before racing.

        Through no fault of Hamilton’s he finds himself in a dominant car where the opportunity to pit his skills against his opponants is limited. But then i guess it must have been the same for Shumacher, in his day.

        Speaking of retirement. Shumacher retired at 43, Alonso at 37. As long as Hamilton is able to do those things now, which most drivers only do when they retire, Im sure he’ll keep on driving for a while yet.

        1. It was entirely his own fault, he listened to Ross Brawn and, of his own choice, acted upon Brawn’s invitation to go to Mercedes.

          “He came to my mother’s house, we were having tea in the kitchen and I was like ‘Why does the guy I saw on TV leading guys like Schumacher want me on his team?’ It didn’t make sense to me,”, “That was the key day that convinced me to go to Mercedes,”

          Hamilton also said: “The question is how much longer I want to commit to this sport. I know it won’t be much longer because I also want to do other things like having a family and business. There are other challenges for me.”

          However, it would seem that a £20+ million a year wage packet for driving the best car around and probably as much or more in endorsement monies may now be a bigger draw. I certainly hope so, future battles with Le Clerc and Verstappen would certainly liven up F1.

          1. RIcciardo is making more than Hamilton?

    3. Stephen Higgins
      8th August 2019, 8:19

      For Lewis to be a world champion in three significantly different eras of F1 (V8, Hybrid, 2021+) would cement him as the GOAT.

      1. If you were to sit all his WDC-winning cars next to eachother they’d look so different. All different types of wings, aero philosophies and tyres. Just comparing this year’s car to the 2008 McLaren would be wild, has anyone won WDCs with such different cars?

      2. What about his 1 lucky title in 6 years at McLaren? That’s not a good look for the GOAT.
        Mansell was more impressive in lesser cars. As was Alonso by a long way.

        1. @bigjoe why the hate? He beat Alonso in 2007 which was his rookie year in F1 and was 1 point away from the title, he won the championship in 2008. I don’t like him as a person, I think he is moody, but to say he is not a GOAT? Yes he is by numbers. Now you can’t realize this but the future generations will call him a Goat like this generation calls Schumacher and Senna Goats.

          1. Boudi don’t bother with this clown @bigjoe He lives to troll and literally nothing else. Definitely a Trump supporter i’d imagine, given his illogical arguments against Lewis.

        2. The 2008 title remains the last time a driver won in a non-WCC car. He should never have been close that year. That was a great achievement.

          Mansell’s lone title came in one of the most lopsided seasons ever, with an extremely dominant car. Mansell would outqualify Senna by over 2 seconds sometimes, enough said.

          As others have said, Hamilton beat Alonso straight up in 2007, as a rookie. There was no favourtism. Alonso was complaining that he wasn’t receiving preferential treatment, which he thought Dennis had promised him. He asked McLaren to run Hamilton out of fuel in a race that year. He actually asked for that!!

    4. Few more wins 3 titles and he can retire.

      Who knows if he can really reach 8 titles with Max improving so fast, it might become pretty difficult in 2 years to win another title.

    5. I’d like to see him win another title after this one, matching Schumacher’s 7. If that’s at Mercedes next year and he/Mercedes can hold off the threat of Verstappen/Red Bull, so be it. I’d actually like him to beat MS’s total of 7 (presuming the win number is virtually assured at some point) but elsewhere. Hamilton continuing in a dominant Mercedes after next year wouldn’t have much interest, surely, even for him. Yes the formula will change, but I’d rather see Mercedes lose their dominance, to be honest. And Hamilton, it would be good to see in a car that is second best, but by a small margin, just enough to test him. A move to Ferrari, Red Bull, a resurgent McLaren again… all would be great to see. Ideally within open competition with another rival team and driver, or two, for the championship. After that, retire after a year or two and leave it all for the new generation.

      1. @david-br

        Merc will only lose their dominance when the budget is cut.
        Ferrari’s money, it doesn’t matter. They are back to their old selves. This is who they are.

        As for McLaren. Lewis’s record there was very poor in comparison to his time at Merc. One title in 6 years and they were better than Ferrari for most of that.

        1. @bigjoe

          So much fake news.

          Lewis was beyond amazing in 2007. Deserved the title. Going head to head and coming on top against an experienced Schumacher-beating Reigning double World Champion Alonso.

          Won in 2008

          Brawn was so far ahead in 2009 and McLaren produced a crap car.

          2010 Lewis could have done ‘slightly’ better but still was in the fight for the title till the last race.

          2011 Redbull domination. No chance for anyone else.

          2012 McLaren let him down massively with frequent technical and strategic blunders otherwise Lewis would have won the title with races to spare.

          1. @amg44 +1
            With the McLaren issues in 2012 really sealing his decision to leave. That’s without getting into the internal team dynamics and decisions after Button arrived.

        2. @bulgarian As @amg44 wrote, 2 years when Hamilton’s record wasn’t stellar. The second was almost entirely down to team and car failures and his valiant but failed attempts to outdrive the issues. That leaves 2010, then, a year when he was sorting out a number of issues at all levels, including manager/family etc. Even so, only a relative decline that would outperform most other drivers.

        3. @bigjoe clown. Revisionist clown.

      2. I would like him to go to Ferrari for 2021, though with how they’ve been of late, would you be signing up there? They have the best engine currently, then couple that with ground effect, and they might be very competitive. You would think that they will figure out some of their low-speed issues in the interim.

        Could a black driver like Hamilton do well at Ferrari? I think if there’s a team out there where that could still sadly be a problem, it might be Ferrari. If he came and started winning right away, then success would dampen any issues. It’s more if there wasn’t instant success, something like his 2013 year at Mercedes (although that was a turn up in form for them, compared to the preceding 3 years).

        Most F1 champions only won with one team. Even just looking at the 16 multi-champions, 7 of those won all their titles with a single team. 8 won with two teams, while Fangio won with 4 different teams. To become only the second F1 driver ever to win with more than 2 teams would be a standout achievement.

    6. I’d like to see Lewis retire at Williams. I would do it just a gesture. He would certainly get the battles he is after.

      1. @bigjoe I’d like to see you retire the internet but seems unlikely either of us are likely to get our wish in this instance.

    7. F1 needs Hamilton. He is a sort of benchmark. He is a joy to watch when he is at his best. It is clear that Max has now become his closest rival. Their battles will become legendary as Senna vs. Prost. Leclerc is still learning and Vettel cannot cope with huge pressure by being Ferrari No.1 driver.

      1. @bulgarian Re. HAM v VER, let’s hope so.

        1. The Red Bull doesnt quite have the pace yet to be a real threat. Give Lewis a clear track and he’ll drive off into the distance – these last few races have been misleading. Maybe next year when both honda and red bull have closed the gap a bit more we’ll have some proper battles.

    8. Some people are going to be really bitter and twisted if Lewis Hamilton continues to be a winner for the next half a dozen years. Not that it matters, because few, if any of them are real fans of motor racing.

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