Red Bull principal Christian Horner looks forward to seeing Lewis Hamilton go head-to-head with the “young wave” of F1 talent in the coming years.
The Mercedes man stormed his way to a sixth World Championship in 2019, putting him just one shy of Michael Schumacher’s record seven.
But in 2019 we also saw the emergence of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, while for the first time Red Bull’s Max Verstappen showed the kind of mentality required for him to become a World Champion one day.
And Horner is really looking forward to the battle to come between these two generations.
“Every now and again, you get a wave coming along and I think we’ve got that at the moment,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“So I think especially exciting is the Max/Leclerc dynamic, how that’s going to play out over future years, how Lewis can still go toe to toe with those guys.
“Because there’s life in him yet as well and I think he’s keen to gauge himself against the young wave that’s coming through.
“I think for Formula 1 it’s fantastic to have the dynamics of the young guys, the challengers, coming through and some of the older guys that are the old dogs that know all the tricks.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes deal is up after 2020, but he is expected to sign fresh terms after Leclerc and Verstappen both extended their deals with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.
And while Hamilton admits that his ventures outside of F1, such as his fashion brand, are a way of giving himself something to fall back on once he retires from F1, that doesn’t mean he is walking away any time soon.
“The core of what I do is that I love racing, I love the challenge,” he explained.
“I love arriving knowing I have got these incredibly talented youngsters who are trying to beat me and outperform me, outsmart me, and I love that battle that I get into that every single year.
“And I am working with these guys who are so much smarter than me and they make me feel smarter, [and] when I am challenging them and proving them wrong so many times, it is unreal!
“I don’t fear [the day I retire]. It is going to be a sad day, to hang up and stop doing something you’ve loved your whole life and as long as you can remember. But that is why I have all these other things in place that I can fall back on.
“The fashion side, for example, I’ve found another business that I can do for a long time if successful. Currently that is going really, really well but I don’t know how long it will go. But at least I have another interest.
“But there are a lot of different things I can be interested in. I know my life is not going to be over when I retire. And that gives me a lot of comfort but right now I feel physically good enough to continue so I’m going to try to eke that out as long as I can.”