Lewis Hamilton drops hint over F1 retirement plans with ‘love-hate’ comment

Lewis Hamilton has a contract with Mercedes until the end of the 2025 Formula 1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has played down suggestions he could retire from Formula 1 in the near future and the Mercedes driver insists his passion for the sport still burns strong.

As the 39-year-old prepares to chase down Max Verstappen in what will be his 18th season in motorsport, the Briton is much more reflective about his journey to becoming one of F1’s greatest-ever drivers. With 103 race wins and 104 poles, the only main record left for Hamilton to achieve is claiming the elusive eighth title.

However, he hasn’t won a race in his last 45 starts – a run that stretches back to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021 – and it has led some to suggest that his time in F1 is coming to an end, especially with Max Verstappen dominating the last two seasons with Red Bull.

Hamilton dispelled those rumours by signing a two-year contract extension with Mercedes in August, keeping him with the team until the end of the 2025 season, and he has opened up on whether he still enjoys racing professionally.

“I never thought that after such a long time in Formula 1, I would still feel the same love for the sport,” Hamilton told Formule 1.nl Magazine. “It is a love-hate relationship, at times you love it more than at others. I think there comes a point when you’ve had enough, but the love is still there.”

Hamilton refuses to commit

In his rookie season with McLaren, Hamilton came within a few points of winning the championship before he was pipped by Kimi Raikkonen in the final race. He would go on to make amends by clinching the title in 2008 in dramatic fashion at the Brazilian GP, but Hamilton suggests he was less happy within himself – despite being more competitive on the track – than he is now.

“In 2007 I was just 22 years old, I was still a child emotionally. I didn’t know much about the world yet, at most I had traveled a little,” Hamilton added.

“I was a fast driver, but as a person I sometimes felt less comfortable. You are still discovering who you are, who you want to be. Today I know that, I know what I want in life. Regardless, I’m a much happier person than I was then.”

The Stevenage-born racer has ruled out having children while he is still involved in motorsport, claiming he “doesn’t have time” for a family just yet. As for his retirement plans, Hamilton dropped a hint he could tread the same path as Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso by continuing into his 40s.

Asked if he would retire at 40 as he previously remarked, the Mercedes star replied: “That is still possible. I have no set plan for the future. I still feel fit and still enjoy what I do. I have learned that you should never say ‘never’ in life.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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