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What the future holds for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is one of the biggest question marks in Formula 1. His current deal expires at the end of this season, but it sounds more and more like the 7-time World Champion is talking about continuing in F1 for the foreseeable future.
Last weekend, Hamilton talked to ESPN about this. He also pointed to two athletes who have been able to compete at a high level for a long time: Tom Brady and LeBron James.
“I don’t plan on stopping any time soon,” the 38-year-old said. “I’m not at the end of my career, I’m not in the downhill slope of my career. I’m in my prime.”
Don Lemon might disagree about what constitutes being in one’s prime, but Hamilton’s right. He’s driving as well as he ever has, despite the recent dominance of Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
“It all depends on how hard I want to work and keep myself in my prime, in terms of physical and mental capability,” Hamilton said. “If you look at LeBron, if you look at Tom Brady, they have shown that it can be sustained for as long as you are dedicated enough to put the energy and time in.
“Right now, I don’t plan on changing, I only plan on adding to the drive and the motivation and to being better. I’m massively driven.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like he’s ready to hang it up. This makes the questions about his future less about when he’ll wrap up his career, and more about where.
Could Hamilton Jump Ship From Mercedes?
Hamilton started his career at McLaren in 2007, then moved on to Mercedes in 2013 where he replaced Michael Schumacher who was retiring for the second time. It was at Mercedes that he hit his Patriots-like dynastic stride with 6 World Championships driving for the Silver Arrows.
To further the Patriots analogy, Hamilton is the Brady to Toto Wolff’s Bill Belichick.
So, could Hamilton follow Brady’s lead and jump ship to try to win a championship on his own?
He hasn’t been happy with the direction of the team’s car since the massive regulation changes in 2022. Mercedes is trying to adjust course with it mid-season, but that could be too little, too late.
Despite this — as well as rumblings that Hamilton might want to end his time at Mercedes and look elsewhere; likely to Ferrari — he is reportedly in the midst of negotiations with Mercedes.
Team principal Toto Wolff said he’s 100% committed to re-singing Hamilton when asked about rumors that he had spoken to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc about a switch.
The Miami Grand Prix is this weekend, and it’s quickly becoming one of the season’s marquee events. Without a doubt, Hamilton — as well as Wolff — will be asked many times about his future with Mercedes.
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