Fernando Alonso’s performances as a 41-year-old show Lewis Hamilton can race on for many more years if he chooses, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes.Hamilton revealed in September he is planning to extend his Mercedes contract, which is due to expire at the end of the 2023 F1 season. He will be 38 by then, and a new multi-year deal would see him racing in his 40s, something he previously indicated he did not intend to do.
However Wolff believes Hamilton is capable of extending his career into his fifth decade as several top athletes have done. “You can see today’s athletes are pushing the boundaries in terms of age,” said Wolff.
“For me, Fernando is performing at a very high level. And you look at, for me, the best athlete in the world, Tom Brady, he’s on the feet actually, he’s being tackled and throwing a ball and he’s 43 years old.
“So as long as you continue to look after yourself and develop your cognitive senses, I think he has many more years in him and I’m pretty certain that’s going to be the case here in the team.”
Discussions around Hamilton’s last contract, a two-year deal announced in July 2021, began during the previous off-season. However Wolff said talks on Hamilton’s next contract are yet to begin.
“We haven’t started any talks,” he said. “We want to definitely finish the season and then try to find some quiet time over the winter like we have done last time around. That literally started in the winter holidays and then lasted over two months. But we haven’t done that.
“But as I say, he’s much more than a driver to us now. Although we are not talking about a career end, it’s also important to speak about his role as an ambassador for Mercedes and the many sponsors we have and the implication he can have in our wider universe.”
Wolff, who owns one-third of the Mercedes’ F1 team, made it clear Hamilton faces no competition for his drive: “It’s 100% his seat.”
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8 comments on “Alonso’s performances show Hamilton can push age boundaries too – Wolff”
30th October 2022, 9:45
You can’t compare these two. Alonso hasn’t won a race for almost ten years. Like him or not you just can’t deny his steely motivation to continue. One can say Fernando is just a lonely racing maniac with no family and kids (so no meaning of life outside racing, i bet he will continue as a team chief or something) but is Hamilton ready for potentionally losy ending of his career?
Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert)
30th October 2022, 10:10
All Sir Lewis Hamilton, The Greatest Of All Time is left with is dreaming about beating Max fair and square, because he is already losing, specifically to his new team mate. But preaching hypocrisy and virtue signalling for 30 or whatever million per year is always alluring prospect I’m sure he’s looking forward to.
30th October 2022, 14:43
@armchairexpert dude, Max has a car that has officially used illegal resources to the tune of 2 million according to the FIA. They stole the championships with the FIA’s blessing.
Did Max or the FIA win those championships? I think it’s a joint effort and the FIA has finally won 3 championships and should list them on their site! They are the only governing body of a sport to have won championships and if things continue, they may surpass some constructors in terms of success.
30th October 2022, 10:52
Alonso hasn’t driven a competetive car in 10 years, dude! Was he supposed to win in a garbage McLaren or an Alpine??
Whereas, Hamilton hasn’t driven a non-winning car in like for ever.
30th October 2022, 15:23
Hamilton never ever drove a non winning car, not even in 2009, until this year, and even that isn’t 100% sure yet!
30th October 2022, 11:03
That’s what makes him so special. Anyone that have tasted success like he has would have find it difficult to cope with the situation where he was consistently fighting to reach Q2 with McLaren and then Q3 with Alpine. Verstappen for example goes crazy if something is wrong with his RB18 which is arguably one of the most dominant cars managed by one the best all around teams in history. Hamilton too, how many times he was fuming at his team in the radio.
The mental toughness of Fernando Alonso is something out of this world. I can only think of Tyson Fury who made a comeback from hell to be on that level. He is also a racer of other times, perhaps the last great racer. Verstappen made it clear that he has other plans when he will be in his late 30s and Hamilton will only continue if Mercedes will be in contention for winning races and championships.
30th October 2022, 13:14
Alonso hasn’t won an F1 race. When he was racing sportscars in 2018 and 2019 he became a two time Le Mans winner, World Endurance World Champion, and Daytona 24h winner.
I think that proved to him that there’s little wrong with him. That’s one of the tragedies of F1, I suppose. It’s mostly about the cars, and in the current era those cars are extremely unlikely to change much from day 1, so you can usually make a pretty solid top 5 prediction after the first race weekend. You can definitely rule out at least 15 guys from the championship and even wins. But I suppose for them the fun of driving an F1 car and the paycheck makes up for their total lack of competitiveness. Which might be fair enough, although at some point one wonders if it wouldn’t be more fun to fight for wins and titles in a different series.
30th October 2022, 15:59
Jogo: “Alonso hasn’t won a race for almost ten years”
You could say the same about Nico Hulkenberg who has now had 184 races without even getting on the podium, which is the worst streak of any current driver, whilst Perez, 190 races before his first win is top of that particular category. If winning races was the only thing that motivated F1 drivers to keep going, there would be a lot of empty seats on the grid.
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