Lewis Hamilton has pretty much done it all in Formula 1. He has 56 Grand Prix wins, putting him second only to Micheal Schumacher’s 91. He has 3 world championships, matching drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet. He also sits equal second on pole positions with Ayrton Senna, just 3 behind Schumacher’s 68. So to say that Lewis has achieved a lot in his 10 year stint in Formula One is an understatement.
However, all of that could be about to come to an end. In an interview with the FIA’s Auto magazine, Hamilton said he might be about to hang up his boots. “My destiny is in my own hands. I can decide to stop at the end of this year,” the Mercedes driver said. While this may come as a shock to many fans, Lewis was quick to say that this might not be the case. “I don’t like to plan for it because I don’t know what’s around the corner, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” What we do know is that his current contract with Mercedes has him staying with the team until 2018. After that, who knows what could come next for Lewis.
Despite this, Hamilton is aware of the impact he has had on the sport. “I’m never going to stop pushing the limits of whatever it is I do with myself and I’m always going to strive for greatness in whatever world it is that I’m in. So I think that mission or that mentality will create my legacy“. He also understands why 2016 champion Nico Rosberg walked away from the sport when he did. He also admits that he has thought about leaving the sport before. “I can empathise, and really understand in some ways, the feeling of wanting to stop and do something different. Every now and then I have a thought of what I will do after Formula One. Then I see that car and I am like, ‘I think I am going to stay’. I don’t know how long I will stay, but I am still competitive, still hungry and still driving at my best”.
Speaking in Baku today, when asked about his comments Lewis said: “I don’t really remember discussing that. That’s not something I’m thinking about right now“. Hamilton has previously said that he can see himself committing to another multi-year deal with the silver arrows. Doing so could allow him to finish his career on top of most of Formula 1’s leader tables. But his intrests not only lie in Formula One, which could be a deciding factor for him. “There are many parts of what the season stops you doing. There are so many great things that come along with it, that I’m really enjoying at the moment, but for sure there are things I look at and think ‘jeez, if I had the whole year there is so much I could achieve and so many things I could tick off the bucket list’“.
He does go on to say that his current boss does allow him the freedom to tick some of those things off while still being in F1. “But then I’ll look back and think I’ve not been racing a Formula 1 car, so there is a time and a place for lots of different things. Prioritising is important and choosing the right times. I guess only God knows when the time is right for certain things.”
With the form Hamilton has shown in recent seasons, there is a good chance that he could overhaul some big F1 records. But will his desire to achieve things outside Formula 1 be a big enough draw to pull him away from the sport he has been a part of since 1998. At the moment, the answer seems to be no, but is that about to change?
Image: Daily Mirror