Lewis Hamilton says he is “still on a mission” and is open to continuing in Formula 1 beyond his current two-year Mercedes extension.
At 37 years of age Hamilton is the second oldest driver on the Formula 1 grid but, like Fernando Alonso who recently signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin, has no plans to retire.
Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes runs through to the end of 2023 and although there have been a lot of rumours and speculation about his future, the Briton doesn’t see a reason to call it quits.
“I’ll be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought about extending,” Hamilton said in an interview with Vanity Fair.
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“I’m still on the mission, I’m still loving driving, I’m still being challenged by it. So I don’t really feel like I have to give it up anytime soon.”
It’s not about the numbers but the love of racing for Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has been dogged by rumours of his imminent retirement for several years now.
Matching Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World titles in 2020 it was thought that could be it for the Briton as he had achieved the greatest feat any Formula 1 driver had ever managed, and one that many believed back in 2004 would never be repeated.
He, however, continued into 2021, that surely being his last season, as he would break that record. But having been denied in controversial circumstances, opinions about whether or not he’d been back in 2022 were split.
Some pundits said he would walk away, disillusioned with sport after race director Michael Masi robbed him of the title on the last lap of the campaign, while others said he’d be back stronger and hungrier than ever before. It was the latter who were right, Hamilton leaving it late to confirm his place on the 2022 grid.
But, it’s fair to say, he did not return with a bang – Mercedes’ fault, not his.
The team’s troubles had the driver himself admitting that while the early part of the season was rather unenjoyable but with improving results, and Mercedes closing in on first win of the season, Hamilton is once again loving competing.
Should Mercedes’ trajectory back to the sharp end continue, an eighth title may yet await Hamilton in 2023. So why not push for a ninth a year later and ensure that record is never broken.