Five-time Formula 1 champion and 81-time Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton has no plans of retiring from Formula 1 at any point in the near future.
If you’re waiting for Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula 1, you’re going to have to keep waiting for quite a while.
Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, which he signed in July of last year, expires at the end of next season, but he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
Here is what Hamilton had to say about the matter, according to Sky Sports.
"“One day I will have to stop, but right now I feel fantastic physically and mentally. I don’t currently have any plans of stopping soon. There’s more to do, there’s more to win, there’s more to achieve together, inside and outside of the car.”"
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The 34-year-old Briton is in hot pursuit of both the all-time Formula 1 championships and wins records. With five titles, he is tied with Juan Manuel Fangio behind only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, and with 81 race victories, he trails only Schumacher, a 91-time Grand Prix winner.
Hamilton is poised to win his sixth championship this year, and he is slated to be the favorite to win next year’s title as well. Additionally, given the rate at which he has been winning, he is on pace to break Schumacher’s wins record well before the 2020 season comes to an end.
The prospect of the new regulations ahead of the 2021 season has caused rumors to circulate that the 2020 season could be Hamilton’s last season of competition in Formula 1. In fact, Hamilton himself has previously hinted this.
In December of 2017, he stated the following, according to ESPN.
"“While the car is in this form of rules until 2021 at least, I think that’s going to be the window I’m still here. Who knows? Maybe in 2021 I’ll hand the baton over to [Mercedes junior] George [Russell]. He’ll be there anyway before then. I’m going to keep going.”"
However, based on his most recent quote, it seems likely that he will be back in Formula 1 in 2021, likely with Mercedes considering the success that he has had with the team since he signed with them ahead of the 2013 season and particularly since the beginning of the V6 turbo hybrid era the following season.
Hamilton has won 59 races in 112 starts driving for the Silver Arrows, and he has taken 56 of his all-time record 87 pole positions during this span. He has won four of the last five championships, only finishing second to teammate Nico Rosberg in a close battle three seasons ago.
Additionally, a return in 2021 could foreseeably put him in a position where he can break Schumacher’s all-time championships record by winning his eighth title, as the 2021 season is the earliest season in which he can achieve this feat. Becoming the first driver to win 100 races doesn’t appear to be out of the question, either.
When will Lewis Hamilton eventually hang up his helmet and retire from Formula 1? If he isn’t holding anything back, it shouldn’t be until at least several years down the road.