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Hamilton Retirement Sabbatical Speculation

Hamilton Ponders Future: Retirement or Break?

25/01/2024

As Lewis Hamilton turns 39, he contemplates either retiring from Formula 1 or taking a sabbatical. His future in the sport remains uncertain as he approaches the end of the current rules era.

Lewis, who just turned 39, doesn’t rule out retiring from Formula 1 in the coming years, but can also envision taking a “sabbatical” with a view to return.

Last year’s long and speculative contract negotiations for the seven-time world champion ultimately ended with just a two-year extension, only taking him to the end of the current rule era, late 2025.

His record-breaking title streak came to an end amid major controversy with the highly contested showdown with Max Verstappen in 2021, and since then, the Red Bull driver has started his own run of victories and titles.

When asked about Verstappen’s ongoing series, Hamilton said, “I’d say ‘keep doing what you’re doing’. He’s doing really well.”

Indeed, 26-year-old Verstappen is arguably considered the best F1 driver alongside the sport’s two oldest drivers: Hamilton (39) and Fernando Alonso (42).

“I think Max and Fernando have one thing in common with me,” Hamilton stated. “We are all extremely competitive. We go to great lengths to achieve what we want.”

“I can’t say much about them as people. I only know them from the world of Formula 1 – it’s not like I’m going to visit them at their homes.”

Some believe that Hamilton intends to leave Formula 1 as soon as he wins his eighth title, thereby setting a clear record for the most titles won by a driver.

“I never said that an eighth title would be the endpoint,” the British driver smiled. “But I don’t know what’s next after Formula 1.”

“I don’t necessarily want to stay active in Formula 1, but you should never say never. But I can’t imagine not driving and still being in a team’s stand somewhere.”

“I would probably tell myself, ‘I could have continued for one more year’. So it would probably be better to take a sabbatical and then see if I want to come back.”

Perhaps Hamilton’s closest friend in F1, Sebastian Vettel, recently hinted that this was exactly what was waiting for him: returning to the cockpit after a break.

“It didn’t surprise me, as we’re seeing it more and more with retired drivers now,” Hamilton said. “Fernando came back, Michael Schumacher too. I’ve also seen it with athletes from other sports and I’ve talked to a few of them.”

“They said, ‘You lose something you’ve done your whole life. Suddenly, it’s gone’. I imagine it’s an incredible hole to fall into.”

Hamilton Retirement Sabbatical Speculation. Hamilton Retirement Sabbatical Speculation

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