On the edge of sealing his seventh Formula One World title, Lewis Hamilton says there are no guarantees that he will continue racing after 2020 season. The 35-year old’s contract ends after the end of this season and though he has previously stated he would like to renew his deal, Hamilton is not ruling out the possibility of quitting the circuit as a whole. Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff said after the expiration of his current contract, the British driver will remain with the franchise. And when asked if Wolff’s decision would play a change of mind, Hamilton said he has considered stepping away.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be here next year, so it’s not really a concern for me at the moment,” he said after securing Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.
“We have a lot of deep conversations, Toto and I, so I’m very aware of where he is mentally, and we share a lot of and carry a lot of the weight together. I’ve been here a long, long time. I can definitely understand wanting to pull back a little bit and giving more time to family and that sort of things.”
Hamilton has been behind the wheel for Mercedes since 2013 and has clinched 5 of 6 world titles with the team. With the Wolff-led team, the driver has conquered six consecutive Formula 1 double World Championships clinching a total over 90 Grands Prix.
“I will stay with the team, and that is what we have agreed with Daimler. But maybe then in another function,” said Wolff, ahead of the Imola race.
“And whether it is CEO or Chairman, we haven’t decided. But Daimler has very much given me the choice. But before me transitioning into a new role, I need to make sure that somebody else is doing the 23 races. And I can enjoy myself in front of a Zoom screen.”
Hamilton recently has not only shattered Michael Schumacher’s all-time win record last time out but also with his 93rd career win in Italy on Sunday broke more records. As the first and second place finishes of Hamilton and team-fellow Valtteri Bottas concluded, Mercedes in process won the Constructors’ Championship for a record 7th consecutive time. The record was previously held by Italian team Ferrari which bagged six straight titles from 1998 to 2004 as they had prime Schumacher. But after his 9th victory of the season, Hamilton looked in a reflective mood.
“We are in November and it’s crazy that Christmas is not that far away. Naturally, I feel great and feel very strong. I feel like I could keep going for plenty of months. I would like to be here next year but there’s no guarantee of that for sure. There’s a lot that excites me of the afterlife, so time will tell.”
Wolff’s Response to the comments
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport head Wolff was later requested to record what he thinks about Hamilton’s comments. Wolff said he hoped, British driver would not change paths.
“I guess if he were to decide to step out of Formula 1, which I don’t think is going to happen and I hope is not going to happen, I think we are going to have a pretty frantic driver market out there,” he said.
“But I think it’s the moment and the emotions, we are all happy but very tired also. It’s the same for me. I completely relate with his feeling, that you question yourself and you think about all the other things that matter when you switch on the new in the morning and you switch it off in the evening it is all about the struggles that we all face.”