Mika Hakkinen, a two-time Formula 1 World Champion, has raised concerns about Lewis Hamilton’s level of focus on racing.
With Hamilton entering his 17th year in the sport and holding numerous records, including the most wins, podiums, and pole positions, there have been suggestions that his commitment to Formula 1 may be waning.
The lack of competitiveness from his Mercedes team in the past 18 months has fuelled speculation about Hamilton seeking new challenges and a potential move to Ferrari in 2024. However, Hakkinen is skeptical about such a switch.
Speaking to Unibet, Hakkinen expressed his doubts about Hamilton joining Ferrari, stating “Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari would be a surprise… I know Lewis’ head is not 100 percent in racing anymore. It’s completely normal.”
Hakkinen acknowledged that money could serve as a motivation for drivers but also highlighted the risks involved. He believes it is highly unlikely that Hamilton will make the move to Ferrari, considering the changing priorities and perspectives that come with age.
Hakkinen further emphasized that as individuals grow older, their thoughts and priorities shift.
Formula 1 may no longer hold the same importance it once did, and Hamilton’s motivation and energy to compete against younger drivers and consistently outperform his teammates could diminish.
Hakkinen referenced George Russell’s recent performances alongside Hamilton, suggesting that the challenging competition from emerging talents adds further complexity to Hamilton’s decision-making process.
“Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari would be a surprise,” Hakkinen told Unibet.
“Does money motivate drivers?,
“I know Lewis’ head is not 100 per cent in racing anymore. It’s completely normal. But does money motivate?
“Of course it does, but there are many risks involved. I think it’s highly unlikely he will join Ferrari.
“I always say that when people get older, the order of your thoughts change. Your priorities in life change.
“Formula 1 just won’t be the most important thing anymore. It wouldn’t surprise me when the competition gets tougher and young drivers emerge, what George Russell is doing with Lewis at the moment, result-wise, it’s not an easy situation.
“Does Lewis have enough energy to wake up every morning, give his everything and bring results so that he can beat his team-mate? Is that the right future for him?”
Hamilton himself recently dismissed the rumours of a switch to Ferrari, confirming that he is close to finalising an extension with Mercedes.
His current contract with the Brackley-based team expires at the end of the 2023 season.