After Damon Hill‘s suggestions that Lewis Hamilton might follow the same path Nico Rosberg took after his championship season in 2016, there can only be one question in Formula 1 fan’s minds: Is it possible that Lewis Hamilton will retire after this season? Especially if he wins his fifth crown, will he retire?
It is widely known that the British champion enjoys a full life outside of motorsport, with fashion and music being the two main interests. But it is fair to say Hamilton is as competitive a driver as anybody has been in F1. No one could have achieved his feats without fire in their hearts.
Is it possible that Lewis Hamilton will retire after this season?
Hill’s comments are shocking, not because of the message itself, but because the time doesn’t seem to be the right one. After Hamilton’s dominant performance in Spain, the Mercedes driver talked about the rhythm he enjoyed during the GP weekend and described his performance as a “rejuvenating” one.
Damon Hill’s Opinion
A Formula 1 champion in 1996, Hill believes the current F1 champion might have in mind what Hamilton’s former teammate did after winning the 2016 crown.
“Although he did not look like that in Barcelona last week, he looked as though he was really hooked up and enjoys what he is doing and can become champion again. But I wonder if Nico Rosberg’s retirement weighed on his mind a little bit. When you are an F1 driver, you hanker for the days when you can escape from it.”
Would Hamilton Consider Retiring Soon?
If Hamilton wins his fifth championship this year, is it possible that he will retire? Considering the Briton is so close to Michael Schumacher‘s tally of titles and victories? Probably not.
F1 greats, such as Hamilton, Ayrton Senna, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, and Niki Lauda, all share a competitive fire that simply doesn’t allow them to quit when they are at the top of their game. With more accomplishments still to be achieved, it is tough to believe that a top 5 driver of all-time would think of giving his powers up, at 33-years old.
Hill’s words might be on point, though, but it is a long shot. Some examples from the past suggest that a rival’s retirement doesn’t change the mindset of a champion. Senna did not follow Prost’s path after the Frenchman retired in 1991 for a sabbatical and after his 1993 championship-winning campaign.
Also, Mika Häkkinen‘s retirement from the sport in 2001 did not put Schumacher in an uncomfortable situation either. The German continued his career through 2006 before his first retirement. Then, of course, Schumacher came back for a stint with Mercedes between 2010 and 2012.
Obviously, only Hamilton knows what’s on his mind at this stage but his prolonged ongoing contract talks with Mercedes has sparked rumors. Not only about a possible retirement but also the possibility that the British champion could go to another team, with Ferrari being the logical option.
Hamilton leads the 2018 Formula 1 championship with 17 points over Sebastian Vettel after five races. His lead will be challenged in Monaco this weekend by the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.
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