Lewis Hamilton drops massive retirement hint, reveals he wants to quit F1 in 2024

Sir Lewis Hamilton is contracted for 2023 at the Mercedes F1 Team.

Sir Lewis Hamilton claimed his and the Mercedes F1 Team’s best result of the season so far at the French Grand Prix, after crossing the line in second-place at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

The seven-time World Champion has now finished on the podium at four consecutive races, with the Brit seemingly now getting the better of team-mate George Russell.

Russell had been performing considerably better than the 37-year-old until the Canadian Grand Prix, where Hamilton began to get on top of the W13’s issues.

Russell also claimed a third-place finish in France, resulting in Mercedes’ first double-podium finish of the season.

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Hamilton is slowly closing the gap to Russell in the Drivers’ Championship, in the fight to finish the year as top Mercedes driver.

With Hamilton’s performances improving on a Grand Prix basis, it looks increasingly likely that he’ll continue in 2023.

Despite already being under contract for next year, there were rumours that the British driver may leave the sport due to the German team’s fall from the top.

The question now, though, is whether he’ll continue after 2023, having celebrated his 300th GP start in France.

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Should Hamilton sign another two-year deal next season, then the Brit will be in his 40 by the time he retires, something he told Corriere Della Sera in an interview last year that he doesn’t want.

“I honestly hope I’m not racing at 40. There are so many things I want to do that it would be difficult,” Hamilton revealed, indicating that he wants to leave Formula 1 before 2025.

The French GP proved that Hamilton is still motivated to be in the sport, with the British driver being seen celebrating wildly with Russell on the podium after the race.

Former team-mate Nico Rosberg thinks Hamilton is still in a “good place”, and that he’s currently driving “phenomenally”.

“It looks like he’s in a good place still, and relishing this new challenge of having George next to him because it’s still as important as ever for Lewis to beat his team-mate,” Rosberg told Sky Sports News.

“The team-mate is the first guy you’re measured to.

“Lewis did an awesome job [in qualifying], really outperformed George over one lap by three or four tenths – that’s a lot, so really phenomenal driving from Lewis.

“I think he’s still motivated and in a good place with the team, so I do see him continuing, why not, for a couple more years.”

Whilst Hamilton has concerns about still being in the sport by the time he’s 40, the 2016 World Champion believes the Brit can use Fernando Alonso’s current performances as inspiration to continue.

Alonso is currently 40-years-old, and not only looks set to race in 2023 but is also beating team-mate Esteban Ocon on a regular basis.

Alonso finished sixth at the Alpine F1 Team’s home race.

“In terms of performance, look at Fernando Alonso – he’s 40 years old and still driving at his very best,” added Rosberg.

“The way he’s beating [Esteban] Ocon at the moment is really impressive.”

Hamilton’s relationship with Mercedes is one that dates back to almost the start of his racing career, and looks set to be the team the Brit will retire with.

However, retirement doesn’t appear to be part of Hamilton’s, or Mercedes’ plans anytime soon.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was asked during the French GP about whether Hamilton will continue past his current contract.

Wolff gave no insight into what talks have taken place, and instead joked that the 103-time Grand Prix winner will continue for another “five to 10 years”.

“We talked a few weeks ago about how long our partnership can go and the number that was discussed was five to 10 years, so we can get to 400,” joked the Austrian, quoted by the PA news agency.