At the age of 37, Lewis Hamilton only has a few years left in F1 before he is expected to retire. His career is closer to the end than the beginning. As a result, the question of his successor at Mercedes is becoming more and more insistent as time goes by. But Toto Wolff admits that he has not yet thought about it and has made some big revelations about Lewis Hamilton’s future at the same time.
At 37, Lewis Hamilton is clearly closer to the end of his career than the beginning. As he admitted in a recent interview with Vanity Magazine, he could have decided to end his career at the end of last season, after the controversy of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Max Verstappen win and be crowned world champion at the same time.
But in the end, Lewis Hamilton decided to continue. If things did not go well at the beginning of the season for the Mercedes driver because of the new regulations, the British driver seems to be doing much better now. Nevertheless, it is only a matter of a few years at most before Lewis Hamilton leaves F1. So, has the Mercedes team already considered the question of the seven-time world champion’s successor?
In a statement reported by Motorsport.com, Toto Wolff admitted that he had not yet thought about who will replace Lewis Hamilton when he retires.
“The successor to Hamilton? I have not been in contact with any other driver,” he said, before confirming that the British driver will be in the paddock for possibly many more years.
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“Lewis and I, even if the season had gone badly, would have stayed together next year if only on the principle of hope. And for the last few months we’ve been talking about whether it’s five or ten years. So none of this is true. I haven’t been in active or reactive contact [with anyone] to drive for us in the future.”
Yet Lewis Hamilton knows that retirement is getting closer and closer. He could see Kimi Räikkönen leave the paddock at the end of last year. At the end of this season, it is Sebastian Vettel who will retire from the grid. Is that enough to make 37-year-old Lewis Hamilton think?
“Vettel’s retirement? It doesn’t make me think about my future, but it reminds me that I’m in a part of my career where the people I started racing with are going to stop,” he explained a few days ago.
But despite this, Lewis Hamilton is starting to prepare for the post-F1 era. If it is inevitable that he will have to leave racing in a few years, the Mercedes driver nevertheless says he will never be far from the sport:
“I will always be connected to the sport, I will always be watching. I will always want to be someone who is positive for all the drivers who are here, good or bad, because you know how hard it is to start. You know how bad it can be, how good some days can be and how negative people can be to you,
“I never want to be one of those drivers who does that, because we’ve experienced it.” For now, Lewis Hamilton has not yet left the world of F1.
And given Toto Wolff’s recent revelations, the seven-time world champion has a few more years ahead of him.