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F1 | Hamilton says he is thinking about “winning another championship”, not retirement

The seven-time world champion acknowledged that whilst some of the drivers he grew up with – like Sebastian Vettel – are retiring from the sport, Hamilton says he still has “plenty to go” and is focused on winning another championship with Mercedes.

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F1 | Hamilton says he is thinking about “winning another championship”, not retirement
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLAT

After Sebastian Vettel announced his decision to retire from Formula One at the end of the 2022 season, and Fernando Alonso showed his commitment to the sport by replacing the German with a multi-year deal at Aston Martin, Lewis Hamilton is the only one of the ‘older generation’ without a clear future in the sport beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of the 2023 campaign.

But the Briton said that whilst Vettel’s decision is a “reminder” that his time on the sport is coming to an end sooner rather than later, he said it hasn’t made him think about retiring from the sport just yet, as his priorities are still to improve on-track to be in a position to win another world championship, and to bring diversity and change to the sport:

“I think it’s a reminder that I’m in that part of my career where people that I came up with and raced with for so long will start to stop.

“Before you know it, Fernando [Alonso] will not be here. And then, who was there after that? I’ll be the oldest I guess! But, no, it’s not made me think about that [retirement].

“I’m thinking about how I can improve this car. I’m thinking about what the steps I need to take to get this team winning again, what is the road map to winning another world championship?

“What are the steps we need to do to have everyone aligned in this sport to do more to start truly reflecting the work that we’re trying to do in terms of diversity? I’m thinking about all those things.”

Hamilton says he still has “fuel in the tank” to keep going for many years, but is adamant that he won’t race on until he is “completely burnt out” – he hopes that is still “a while off” - and will instead preserve himself.

“When I talk about fuel left in the tank, I’m still fighting for those things and still feel like I’ve got plenty to go in that.

“If I stop, I will still have fuel in the tank. I don’t think I will go until I’m completely burnt out and have nothing left. But, hopefully that’s a while off.”

The seven-time champion acknowledged and praised Vettel’s “huge role to play” in helping him in the fight for turning the sport into a more diverse and inclusive place during his time, and hopes it is “in a better place” otherwise it would be a “huge waste of time”:

“The work I’ve tried to do, what Seb’s been trying to do here – really igniting the fire of sparking conversations, to leave the place a better sport than it was when we found it.

“And I think Seb has definitely had a huge role to play in that and there’s still a lot of work to do, which I don’t know if Seb is going to do more work, continue on the work in the background with the sport or not.

“I doubt he’ll come back and do commentary, but you can never say never. But I do hope it’s in a better place. It would’ve been an awful waste of time if not,” Hamilton concluded.

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