Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Covid-19 hiatus led Hamilton to plan “longer” F1 career

2020 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says he expects to remain in Formula 1 for at least another three years – longer than he previously intended.

The six-times world champion, whose contract to drive for Mercedes expires at the end of the 2020 F1 season, said the enforced break from racing earlier this year due to the global pandemic has given him renewed energy.

Ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, which will be held without fans due to Covid-19 restrictions, Hamilton said he hopes to be able to race in front of fans at the track next year.

“I don’t think you can guarantee anything, but I plan to be here for sure,” he said. “That’s definitely the goal. So fingers crossed I will be here and we will have fans here next year.”

Hamilton said he is now thinking of staying in the sport longer than he previously planned as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“In terms of how long I go, that’s a bit of an unknown. I would say that this Covid lockdown, after we had the first part of the season cancelled, whilst it was a negative in many ways, in some ways it gave a lot of life, a lot of energy to focus on some other things. And that bit of time off was really a bit of breathing space. So it has kind of give me a renewed bit of energy to perhaps go longer.”

The 35-year-old said he wants to ensure he can still compete at his best in the latter stages of his career.

“Ultimately, I want to be able to perform at the level that I’m performing at now forever. But obviously there is a point at which physicality and the mental side can tail off. And I don’t know when that’s going to be, but I don’t see that happening in a particular short term in the next two or three years.

“So I’m definitely going to be here hopefully for the foreseeable future. And also, we’re in a period of time, I mean, there’s not another driver from my background coming at the moment and I’m conscious of that as well.

“So I don’t know. I’m just going to try and I want to earn my position here. And I feel like every year I come back, it’s not a given, just because I’ve got world championships under my belt. I think you still have to earn the right to be here in terms of how you perform and continue to deliver. So my goal is to continue to deliver for as long as I can. So I do see myself going for at least another three years.”

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

29 comments on “Covid-19 hiatus led Hamilton to plan “longer” F1 career”

  1. I would not leave if I was him.

  2. Good.

    And at least 3 more years of hurt for his haters, lovely.

  3. To be fair, if I were Lewis, I wouldn’t want to retire yet either! He’s got a chance to completely rewrite the record books! And with the new regulations being delayed to 2022, Lewis has a pretty good chance of not only taking WDC #7, but also beating Schumacher and taking #8 next year. He’ll stick around as long as Mercedes stays competitive. If they totally screw it up and they’re slow in ’22, he can call it a career and no one can claim he has unfinished business.

  4. there’s not another driver from my background coming at the moment and I’m conscious of that as well.
    what does that mean?

    1. @alfa145 I assume it means how there doesn’t appear to be any black drivers in junior categories right now seemingly joining F1 anytime soon.

      1. Or working class British? Attend a kart meeting at the lower level and the make up of drivers pretty much reflects British society. I would guess the drop out is mainly governed by finance.

      2. I wonder who is the closest next black driver to reach to F1?

    2. I think he means he also has a duty to represent. The media and fans are always pushing that he is this-or-that. So whatever. This-or-that is staying to represent. Brush your cleats off.

    3. He still wants to be role model until the next black kid comes along. Lol. Strange but I see what he is doing. Very selfless of him.

  5. So I’m definitely going to be here hopefully for the foreseeable future.

    This assumes he has a contract to drive, and with 6 World Driver Championship titles that shouldn’t be a problem. Most teams would want to employ him. However none of that means he has a contract to drive next year. If he doesn’t have a contract he won’t be here next year. I’m not sure why there’s a delay in announcing he’s signed a new contract with Mercedes. Presumably the delay means he hasn’t signed.

    1. It’s all about marketing and the longer he waits the longer people talk about it.

  6. We’ll see. If Mercedes F1 pulls the plug at the end of 2021, as some speculate, I can see Lewis trying out in another team (Scuderia) for one year. If successful, he could stay another year. If a dud, he’s done. Ego too large to be like Vettel and Alonso fighting for lower positions.

    1. Yeah cos Alonso and Vettel don’t have any egos.

  7. Yes Lewiss I can still dream of getting more caps signed at least. I got one cap signed in Austria 2017 after having to deal with a swarm of people on my back in the fan zone area.

    Although with him staying, that could be bad news for Russell…

  8. Well somewhere in the future Hamilton needs to stop. He’s not young anymore but he is still at his very peak. It won’t happen today or tomorrow or next year but after a couple of years there will be a new generation of drivers knocking the door and “the old ones” need to move away. Of course F1 needs those guys like Alonso for example just because they are the best ones.

    1. Dont agree with that. Knocking the door so the old uns can move away? They need the keys to the house by taking his crown first before he needs to move on don’t you think?

  9. Well, 2020 is not getting any better. Bad news keep on coming.
    But like others said, he has no reason to quit. But I will be happy when he does retire, just as happy as I was when Schumacher retired.

    1. Ha! Agreed, Schumacher’s domination is why I lost interest in F1 in my teens.

    2. Do you mind me asking why?

  10. Go go lewis! Which means stay stay stay in the sport and win everything break all the records and rub it in everyones face! Hahaha!

    1. In in in in in in in in in in I mean out stay out haha

  11. It’s nice that he feels that way, but I just wish there was machinery for others to challenge him. 5-6-7-8-9 championships it doesn’t really matter anymore. At this point he’ll get them almost for free. He has one driver to beat, one that he’s beaten for years. Hamilton is just going throught the motions now. And actually, it’s a pitty that he doesn’t get to prove that he really is the best.

    1. It’s not his fault that others are performing bad. What does he need to do to prove that he is the best? Sign for Ferrari knowing that they are the undisputed kings of screw-ups? I’m a Ferrari fan but Lewis is right to stay Put where he is now and win more accolades.

  12. Well that was a given. Who would pass on where you just have to beat your team mate to be champion, and your team will only choose team mates that makes you happy.

  13. Thumbs up!

    We are all behind you!
    We are team LH!

  14. NeverElectric
    31st July 2020, 0:00

    Looking at the comments on this site on any articles involving Hamilton and Vettel, I fear F1 has become so toxic that it must change or else.

    1. Look at any comments on almost any site on any subject and you realise their is a toxic underbelly throughout society.

  15. I think, like many others, he wants to try the new cars… I think that is the plan for many of the older drivers…

  16. You’re retired a long time, personally I say keep going while you are enjoying it. For Hamilton that means being successful.

    If and when Mercedes pull out of F1 that might be the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.