Lewis Hamilton will retire if Mercedes ‘B’ car doesn’t let him fight Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires at the conclusion of this year.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Marc Surer is expecting seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to retire at the end of 2023, if Mercedes’ ‘B version’ doesn’t put him in title contention.

Mercedes are expected to introduce a brand-new concept at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in May, with the revolutionary ‘zero sidepods’ set to be replaced.

The Brackley-based team are hopeful that this will finally get them on the correct path and allow them to close the gap to Red Bull.

Despite this, Hamilton did claim his and Mercedes’ first podium of the 2023 F1 season last weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, after finishing second.

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Whilst the 38-year-old and the team were delighted with the podium at the Albert Park Circuit, Hamilton continued to explain how he doesn’t feel comfortable in the W14, with it having been revealed that he’s asked the team to move his cockpit further back.

There are clearly differences between Hamilton and Mercedes currently, at a time when his contract is approaching its end, leaving Surer to believe that Hamilton is delaying signing a new deal until he sees the performance of the team’s new car.

“He will wait for the B version of the Mercedes to see if they can catch up with Red Bull,” Surer told London Insider.

With Mercedes still facing some difficulties, it has been discussed whether Hamilton could actually move to another team once his contract expires at the end of 2023, with Ferrari having been a side to come up in discussion several times.

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Hamilton has previously expressed his love for Ferrari and how cool it would be to drive for the Maranello-based team; however, Surer can’t see the 103-time race winner ever driving for another team.

READ: Mercedes may sack Lewis Hamilton due to hefty salary demands

Surer is certain that the only way Hamilton would ever leave Mercedes is when he decides to retire, something he’ll do when “he cannot see a possibility” of claiming an unprecedented eighth World Championship.

“No, I do not see him in another team so late in his career. Remember when he joined McLaren [in 2007] it was the Mercedes works team,” said Surer.

“If he cannot see a possibility to win his eight championship with his team, he will retire.”