Sir Jackie Stewart believes Sir Lewis Hamilton has “serious problems” moving forward in Formula 1, as he is no longer driving a car as competitive as he is used to.
That, coupled with the success he has had in the past, has led the three-time World Champion to think that the Mercedes driver does not have the same “hunger” he used to have in the sport.
Hamilton recently signed a two-year contract extension to remain at Mercedes until the end of 2025, with Formula 1’s all-time record race winner making his intentions clear of adding to his tally of World Championships.
Sir Jackie Stewart: Lewis Hamilton ‘no longer has that hunger’ in F1
While Stewart made it clear that Hamilton is one of the best there has ever been in Formula 1, the problem he faces from his years of dominance is that with Mercedes having been so far ahead, he often only had to contend with the driver on the other side of the garage for his title wins.
And with the lack of competitiveness Mercedes are currently showing, he believes Hamilton will not have the same “hunger” as he did before.
“First of all, Lewis is one of the best ever to drive in Formula 1, but the truth is that over the past decade he has raced with Mercedes for a team that was virtually out of contention,” Stewart told German publication BILD.
“Lewis had only one real competitor during that time: his respective teammate. Except for 2016, he always emerged victorious from the duel.
“And then he lost to Nico Rosberg. With respect: a good driver, but not the most talented in the world. But Rosberg was hungry, had the absolute will to become World Champion.
“Lewis no longer has that hunger. That’s why – and because the car is no longer as strong – he has serious problems.”
Hamilton made it clear that he hopes to challenge for a record eighth World Championship as soon as next season, with Mercedes having struggled to compete with Red Bull over the past two years.
But given that he has not been in a position to win a race since late 2021, Stewart believes he won’t add to that tally despite extending his time in Formula 1.
“That also depends on Mercedes,” Stewart said when asked about his future title prospects. “It’s not impossible, but I still don’t think he can do it. And I don’t think – despite the rumours about Ferrari – that he will change teams again.”