Lewis Hamilton today marks precisely 10 years since he first donned the Mercedes colors and visited the factory of the Anglo-German team, which at the time was faltering in the championship, something that Michael Schumacher had been unable to put right.
A decade later, with six titles under his belt, as well as having been involved in eight of the ‘silver arrows’, 38-year-old Hamilton has yet to sign his renewal and is mulling over the timing of his retirement, although there seems to be more fear than desire in his words.
“When I’ve spoken to other athletes, we get so focused on being the best at that one thing that the other things that we also love, like playing a musical instrument or writing, fade away, there’s a lot of people who put a label on you, or in one place and say that, ‘you can only do one thing’,” he explained on the On Purpose podcast.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who are active and retired, and a lot of them tell me that when they retire, everything falls apart, like they have nothing to fall back on and they haven’t figured out what they’re going to do next.
“So, they face an emotional journey of discovery and it takes time. I try to learn from those things, apply them and find other things that I’m passionate about,” he adds. Mentally, it all seems to be cooking: “I have a lot of things in the pipeline and when I leave, I will be very grateful to Formula 1, but I will have something better.
“And I have no doubt that my father and I will always have to go karting or something like that, I will always be competitive, that’s my DNA.”
In any case, his polar preparation among penguins and his statements that “there has not been a driver in F1 like me in history”, do not seem to leave any doubt that he wants to be the first to win 300 races and, of course, attack that eighth world title that would make him the most successful of all time in all sections.
Mercedes are also clear that they do not want it to be Lewis’ last World Championship and are encouraging him on social media while Toto Wolff believes it is a matter of days before an agreement is reached because both parties want it.
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- Hamilton discusses retirement: A lot of people tell me it’s all going to fall apart
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