Eighth title will not be Hamilton’s retirement cue

Jamie Woodhouse
Sir Lewis Hamilton

Eighth title would not be Sir Lewis Hamilton's cue to walk away from Formula 1.

Sir Lewis Hamilton said that winning an eighth World Championship would not be the deciding factor in his Formula 1 future.

The Briton set a new record in Formula 1 last year for the most race wins in the history of the series, while also winning a seventh World Championship which put him alongside Michael Schumacher at the pinnacle of Formula 1.

However, Hamilton has only signed a one-year extension to his Mercedes deal, covering the 2021 campaign, and he is hot favourite to win that record eighth title this year.

But, Hamilton made it clear that he has not allowed himself to make that the deciding factor in when he decides to walk away from Formula 1.

Mercedes W12
Toto Wolff, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas W12

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“I have made a real important decision in my mind that I don’t want that [winning an eighth world title] to be the deciding factor,” he is quoted by Crash.net, speaking following the launch of Mercedes’ 2021 challenger, the W12.

“I got into racing because I loved racing. That has got to be at the core of what I do. If I don’t love racing, if all you’re going for is accolades, all you’re going for is titles I feel like I could potentially lose my way.

“Of course it’s the ultimate dream but I don’t think it’s going to be the deciding factor as to whether I stay or keep going? It’s more whether when I put the helmet on, I still have the smile when I leave the garage.

“I’m fully invested in this season and delivering, I still love what I do. I’m generally in a fortunate position where I don’t have to commit to multiple years, so I chose to have a one-year deal. Then I can see how the year goes and where we are at mid-year, or towards the end of the year.

“Who knows if we will still be in a pandemic. But it doesn’t mean I’m not committed. I’m still very, very committed to the sport.”

Currently Mercedes do not have any driver tied down for 2022. Hamilton is out of contract at the end of the upcoming season, as is his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes junior George Russell is also entering the last of his three contracted seasons with Williams, while Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said that Esteban Ocon is also in the conversation. He too is out of contract at Alpine come the end of 2021.

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