Sir Lewis Hamilton has expressed a keenness to remain involved in Formula 1 after he has retired from driving.
The seven-time World Champion signed a one-year contract earlier this year to extend his time with Mercedes to a ninth season and his 15th F1 campaign in total.
But as he targets a record eighth Drivers’ crown, Hamilton had said before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, which he went on to win for his 96th race success, that “in the next eight months or so I’ll find out whether I’m ready to stop or not”.
The 36-year-old Briton has many interests away from the paddock, e.g. fashion, music and social and environmental issues, and the perception among some outside has been that he would be more likely to exit F1 completely when he hangs up his gloves and helmet.
However, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Hamilton has opened the door to staying in the sport – although in which role, he did not specify. Team principal, figurehead, administrator, even a TV pundit perhaps?
“I could stay involved in F1 after retirement and I think I want to,” said Hamilton, who will bid for race win No.97 at the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
“But it’s hard for me to think about when I won’t be racing.
“Growing up, I’ve learned that changing things when you’re in them is easier and succeeds better. F1 gave me a platform to reach a lot of people, to inform, to send positive messages, to encourage people, to push.
“At some point, I too will have to stop, but the mission to make motorsport more inclusive will never leave my mind, it’s something I will always want to fight for. One or two years are certainly not enough.”
Let’s root for each other 💛 pic.twitter.com/kQ3DkxrE7c
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 12, 2021
Although, before the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton had indicated thoughts of retirement are in his mind, he still felt he would want to continue racing beyond the end of 2021.
“The position I’m in has nothing to do with whether we are or we’re not winning the Championship,” he said. “I don’t quit when the going gets tough.
“I wanted a one-year deal and yes, I said to Toto [Wolff] it would be good that when we work on the future together we should talk about it much earlier than January.
“I’m fully committed to this sport. I love what I’m doing. We’re going to have a great battle one way or another and that’s what I’ve always loved.
“In the current position I’m in, I don’t feel like this is the end. Of course we’ve got these [regulation] changes that are happening next year which are exciting.
“I don’t feel like I’m at the end, but in the next eight months or so I’ll find out whether I’m ready to stop or not. I don’t think I will personally, but you never know.”