Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 39th birthday earlier this month, but will remain in Formula 1 for at least two more seasons as he hopes to win his eighth world title after several more difficult years. To do this, he will have to dethrone Max Verstappen, so the Brit was also asked about his two fellow world champions.
Hamilton suffered an embarrassing loss in the 2021 title showdown after taking his 103rd Grand Prix victory in Saudi Arabia a week earlier. More than two years later, the counter still stands at 103, although Hamilton did take his 104th pole position in 2023. In the past two years, Hamilton had to watch Verstappen win a lot. ‘I’d say keep doing what you’re doing. He is doing great,” Hamilton said when asked about the reigning world champion.
Hamilton over Verstappen and Alonso
In addition to Verstappen and Hamilton, Alonso is the third world champion in Formula 1, and in an interview with Formula 1 Magazine it was pointed out that the three drivers are still seen by many as the three best drivers. ‘I think all drivers in Formula 1 are, for different reasons, extremely competitive. We have had different upbringings and opportunities, and faced different challenges, but I see many similarities with all the other drivers and also with younger drivers from Formula 2 and Formula 3, for example.’
“I think Max and Fernando have one thing in common with me: we are all extremely competitive,” says Hamilton. ‘We go to great lengths to achieve our goals. I can’t say much about what they are like as a person. I only know them from the Formula 1 world, it is not the case that I visit them at home, for example,” said the Briton, who will drive for Mercedes for the twelfth year in a row in 2024.
Hamilton looks ahead to possible retirement
As one of the seniors in Formula 1, Hamilton appears to be in the final years of his career, but the Briton does not want to indicate that he will immediately retire if he becomes champion again. ‘I never said that an eighth title would be the end point. I don’t know what happens after driving in Formula 1. I don’t necessarily feel the desire to remain active in Formula 1 afterwards, but I have said before: never say never. “I can’t imagine standing at the pit box if I don’t drive anymore,” the record champion seems to be reluctant to take on a role as team boss.
Hamilton also responded to statements from former rival Sebastian Vettel, who previously did not want to completely rule out a comeback. ‘That didn’t surprise me, because you see that more often with retired drivers. Fernando Alonso came back, and so did Michael Schumacher. I have also seen it in athletes from other sports, and have talked about it with some of them. They said, You lose something that you’ve done all your life, and suddenly it’s gone. Then you can start to miss it, and I can imagine that it is an incredible hole to fall into.’