Lewis Hamilton won’t quit Mercedes despite George Russell threat

Lewis Hamilton finished the 2022 season behind his Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

Former F1 driver Christian Danner has played down suggestions that Lewis Hamilton could retire sooner than expected amid problems with his team’s performance and a strong challenge from his teammate.

After his struggles continued into the second race of the season, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 on Saturday: “I just don’t feel the car underneath me, I just don’t feel connected to this car and I can’t get it. I don’t really know what I am going to do about that.”

As well as the concerns around car performance, there has been some talk that, if he finished behind George Russell for a second consecutive season, Hamilton might become disenchanted with the sport.

Danner, who raced in F1 between 1985-1989, has stated that, despite this, Hamilton is unlikely to quit at the end of this season, in part due to the inspirational performance on display from Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. 

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“I still don’t think Lewis will lose interest in Formula 1. One reason is that we are now seeing the magnificent driving of Fernando Alonso, and he is three years older than Lewis,” Danner said.

“There’s no doubt that an uncompetitive car can take the edge off a racing driver, but I don’t think Lewis is a driver who gives up easily.

“Even if he’s faced with pretty rough winds in the form of George Russell,” Danner continued.

“But I think Hamilton is someone who gets stuck into adversity with even more fierce determination than usual.”

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READ: George Russell claims Mercedes are holding back some performance

Amid the speculation over Hamilton’s future, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said that he believes he will sign a new contract at Mercedes this year.  

“I don’t think that Lewis will leave Mercedes. He’s at the stage of a career where we trust each other, we have formed the great bond among each other and we have no reason to doubt each other, even though this is a difficult spell.”

Ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton expressed similar views, stating that: “I still have 100 percent belief in this team, it is my family and I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.”