Max Verstappen reacts to Lewis Hamilton retirement decision

Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of 2023, but he has hinted at an early extension.

Despite 2022 having failed to be a championship-winning year for Lewis Hamilton, it is looking increasingly likely that he’s going to have plenty more opportunities to claim that elusive eighth World Championship.

This season has truly been a test like no other that the Silver Arrows have faced in the hybrid era, with the W13 having been by far the side’s worst car in the last eight years.

With just one pole position and not a single victory, the side will be more than happy to move onto 2023 and forget the challenge that was 2022.

The year started so poorly, in fact, that many tipped Hamilton to retire at the end of the campaign; however, the complete opposite is set to happen.

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Since the Canadian Grand Prix, things have turned upwards for the seven-time World Champion, who has claimed eight podiums this season and has by far been the Germans best bet at victory.

A second-place finish at both the Circuit of the Americas and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has resulted in Hamilton moving to fifth in the World Championship, putting him just 15 points behind George Russell.

Hamilton has recently expressed his intent on continuing beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of next season, with a multi-year deal set to be signed “over the winter” according to Toto Wolff.

For Russell, the 24-year-old thinks it’s “exciting” that the greatest of all-time statistically is set to continue for another three years, with the former Williams driver hailing it as a perfect learning opportunity.

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“The truth is, I find it exciting,” said Russell.

“I think he has shown that he has definitely not lifted his foot off the throttle pedal and in the last few races is performing probably better than ever.

“How often do you get the opportunity to learn next to a driver like that?”

Hamilton was also predicted to possibly retire after the controversial conclusion of the 2021 season, where he lost the title to Max Verstappen following a “human error” by race director at the time Michael Masi.

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Interestingly, Verstappen also thinks perhaps his greatest ever rival should continue “as long as he wants to”, with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko having even predicted that Hamilton will be the double World Champion’s biggest challenger next season.

“He has to do what he thinks is right,” the Dutchman said.

“And as long as he wants to race, he should race.”