Sir Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he does in fact plan on remaining in Formula 1 into his 40s, despite having recently suggested that he didn’t want to still be racing when he exceeds 40-years-old.
Hamilton has faced an extremely challenging year, with it currently on track to be the worst of his career.
The seven-time World Champion has never finished below fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, a concerning statistic given that he currently occupies sixth.
Unbelievably, the 37-year-old is the only driver in the history of the sport to have claimed a victory in every season he’s competed in, but this too, is at risk of ending unless he wins one of the final five races of the season.
Hamilton was looking likely to be in the fight for victory last weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix after topping FP1, before qualifying third for the race, just under a tenth behind polesitter Charles Leclerc.
A poor start to the wet race saw the Mercedes driver fall to fourth, which is where he remained until he locked-up at Turn Seven on Lap 33 and crashed into the barrier on the exit of the corner.
He did manage to reverse out of the barrier and continue in the race; however, he dropped to ninth after being forced into pitting for a new front-wing.
Ninth was eventually where the British driver ended up, in what was another miserable race for Hamilton to not write home about.
This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix looks set to be another tough weekend for the Brackley-based team, with boss Toto Wolff admitting earlier in the week that the circuit won’t suit the W13.
Despite all the challenges and disappointments that Hamilton and the team have faced in 2022, he has continued to label the season as a “good experience”, despite still being yet to win this year.
Hamilton does seem fully convinced that the Silver Arrows will turn things around and that he’ll be behind the wheel to see it happen, with the 103-time GP winner admitting he does “plan on staying longer”.
“I know what I want to do — I plan on staying longer,” Hamilton revealed.
“It’s just not set in stone how long. I plan on staying with Mercedes for the rest of my life, that’s a definite. It’s more figuring out what we are going to do down the line, even beyond racing I want to be building with Mercedes and there is a lot that Mercedes can do, it’s not just a car manufacturer.
“It provides so many jobs for so many people and it has such a powerful platform to really shift narratives and it has a place where it can have a really positive impact on the environment – there’s loads of things that we can do together and I want to be a part of that.
“I want to be part of that shift and work process with Mercedes far beyond races and championships, but for now it’s to win world championships and that’s the immediate focus.”
Hamilton’s comments on his future ahead of the Japanese GP follow Wolff’s earlier discussion with Channel 4, where the Austrian explained that Hamilton has said to him that there is still “another five years in me”.
“The advantage is we speak a lot together,” Wolff told Channel 4.
“Just last week we sat down and he says ‘look, I have another five years in me, how do you see that?’
“Over time we have just grown together. We are totally transparent with each other. Lewis will be the first one to say ‘I can’t do this anymore’ – because I feel I haven’t got the reactions anymore, or I’ve just lost fun doing it and there is another generation growing up that is just very strong.”