Triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart believes that Sir Lewis Hamilton should consider retiring from Formula 1 amid Mercedes’ tough start to the 2022 season.
Hamilton has scored just two podiums in an underperforming Mercedes car, which has been suffering from “porpoising” and bouncing all year.
The consequence of that has been severe discomfort and back pain, particularly during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the demeanour of the 37-year-old has often been one of frustration this season.
The seven-time champion has been out-qualified five times in nine races by new team-mate George Russell, who has also finished ahead in seven of the opening nine races this year.
Stewart left the pinnacle of motorsport after winning his third and final title in 1973, and he indicates that Hamilton should pursue the other interests in his life.
“It’s time for him to resign,’ he told the Convex Conversation podcast.
“He’s got music, he’s got culture, he loves clothing and the rag trade would be absolutely suitable for him.
“I’m sure he’ll be very successful because he’s been earning a huge amount of money — rightfully so because he’s been the best of his time.”
What the 83-year-old does not want to see is one of the greatest to ever do it struggling in the final years of his career with a car that is not able to win the championship.
“Lewis is in that group of the Ayrton Sennas and the Alain Prosts — or even the Jackie Stewarts maybe,” added Stewart.
“It’s a pity he wasn’t resigning at the top but I don’t think that’s going to happen now.
“But nevertheless it’s wiser to stop than go through all the pain of not being able to do what you did before. He’s carried the sport well. I’d like to see him resigning now.”
Hamilton’s second podium of the year arrived at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, and he described his third place as “overwhelming” after such a difficult time of it to that point.