Lewis Hamilton hinted at retirement: ‘Other things I’d like to try’

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been warned that they could face a points deduction or suspension for unfair driving at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. FIA (the sport’s governing body) race director Michael Masi has issued a reminder of the FIA’s sporting code, which gives motorsport’s governing body the ability to hand down harsh penalties – and even strip a driver of a championship – if they feel one driver has tried to influence the outcome of the championship in an unsportsmanlike fashion.

It comes after Verstappen was penalised for unfair driving in Saudi Arabia last week, and fears that the combative wheel-to-wheel racing between the title contenders could see the Championship decided by a crash. They are level on points going into the final race, but Verstappen has more wins meaning if neither driver scored points, he would be crowned world champion.

Hamilton is pursuing his ​eighth world title that would see him become the stand-alone record holder, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s seven titles.

At 36 years of age, Hamilton’s career may not continue for much longer, and he hinted that he is considering retirement when speaking in September.

When asked if he ever thought about quitting Formula 1 after enjoying so much success in the sport, Hamilton told Sky Italia: “That thought often happens to me. It’s like a wave.

“It comes and goes, there have been many occasions in the last four or five years when I didn’t know if I still wanted to try, sacrifice myself with training at the expense of personal life.

“There are other things I like to do. So many things I would like to try. But on the other hand I tell myself that I am so lucky to be doing this job.

“In a rather long period of time, the career in the car becomes only a small part, there is a lot of time to retire. It is a question of finding the balance.

“I tell myself that if I am still hungry and I train like I was a boy, which I am doing, and if I still get great results and I’m still hungry.

“If I find myself slower, lacking strength to train, and unmotivated, then I’ll know it’s time to stop.”

Hamilton signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes before the season and is committed to the team until 2023.

One seat at Mercedes will be changed for next season as Valtteri Bottas prepares to move to Alfa Romeo next season.

Williams star George Russell will make the leap into the second Mercedes car.

Russell has impressed for Williams, scoring points and regularly excelling in qualifying despite being in one of the slower cars on the grid.

In the same interview, Hamilton praised the new generation of young drivers who are coming through, including Russell, as well as Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc, but said he was not “scared” of facing them under the new regulations in 2022.

He said: “There are exceptional talents in the new generation. It is something exciting for the sport and for me it is fantastic because I can ask myself: ‘How can I handle the challenge of these guys?’

“They are not afraid of anything. I am in great shape, I like to watch them drive, I hope that I will still be able to deserve my place here, to be able to respond to them in the most effective way possible. I am focused on that.


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“Looking ahead to next year, the performance of the cars is likely to be closer together. The races will be more intense, so driving skills can carry a lot of weight. And that’s why I want to stay in F1, because it will really be an opportunity to show my skills.

“I believe my spirit can help the team make progress, because I know what I need from the car and where performance needs to go. I hope to be important in this regard and to be part of the growth of Russell, who will be next to me.

“He is already very fast but he will surely learn from me because I have been in F1 for the longest time.

“And I will also be able to learn from him. I have no qualms about learning from someone younger. I have no fear, I just want to win.”

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