Sky Sports F1 presenter Simon Lazenby believes that it’s “success” which “motivates” Lewis Hamilton to continue racing in Formula 1, with it certainly not being about the huge sums of cash he receives for driving.
For the vast majority of his career at the pinnacle of motorsport, Hamilton has been one of the sport’s highest earners.
This is arguably deserved, given that he’s claimed seven world titles and 103 victories.
The 38-year-old is currently the second highest paid driver in the sport behind 2021 rival Max Verstappen, who is currently the face of F1.
Hamilton continues to earn a staggering amount despite his disappointing 2022 campaign, where for the first time in his career he failed to claim either a victory or a pole position.
His contract is actually set to expire at Mercedes this year, with some believing that he’s waiting to see if the Germans can turnaround yet another disappointing car.
Mercedes endured a woeful Bahrain Grand Prix, with team principal Toto Wolff having described it as the “worst day in racing”.
Hamilton has rejected the idea that he’s waiting for Mercedes to improve before signing a new deal, with Lazenby also believing that money certainly isn’t a problem.
“No, I think Lewis would never make those demands anyway, I don’t think that it’s the money that motivates him,” Lazenby told Express Sport.
“I think it’s the success and I think he will remain so long as he feels that he’s in the best position to get that eighth world championship.
“I think it’s as simple as that, he’s driven not by race wins, he’s driven by championships now and that will dictate his longevity. I don’t think retirement’s imminent at all actually.”
It was put to Lazenby whether Hamilton’s value is actually decreasing due to the rise of team-mate George Russell, who became just the third partner of the veteran’s to beat him in the championship last year.
Russell was incredibly good last season and is without a doubt the future of Mercedes; however, Lazenby doesn’t believe this will have any effect on the value of Hamilton to the Silver Arrows.
“No, I don’t think it will come to that,” said Lazenby.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the value of Lewis’ marketing potential to a brand like Mercedes either.
“I think that’s why he commands figures way in excess of George at this stage of George’s career.”