Lewis Hamilton drops hint over sudden F1 retirement and sets relationship record straight

Lewis Hamilton F1 news

Lewis Hamilton has hinted he could suddenly retire from F1 one day

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 30/11/2023

- 11:07

Updated: 30/11/2023

- 11:08

The Briton failed to win a single race this season

Lewis Hamilton has hinted his retirement from F1 could come suddenly.

However, he insists he still loves racing too much to walk away and is eager to reel in Red Bull next season.

Hamilton was once the sport's most dominant driver and has won seven Formula One titles during his glittering career so far.

There is, however, a sense that he'll struggle to ever scale those same dizzying heights again.

F1 news Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton insists he remains eager to achieve success in F1 despite Mercedes' struggles


Hamilton was unable to win a single race this season, with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen securing a remarkable 19 victories.

It made for a chastening time for the 38-year-old, who had to settle for third in the driver standings.

Hamilton signed a new contract with Mercedes that ties him to the team until 2025.

For the time being, the Stevenage-born racer has no desire to walk away.

Yet he's hinted he could retire from F1 suddenly and 'slip into a different role'.

“I really have no idea. It can be abrupt, and I’m suddenly gone," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Or I slip into a different role. But at the moment, I still love racing too much.

"Once that smile isn’t on my face when I roll down the pitlane, I’ll know it’s time to stop.

"But I hope it never happens.”

Hamilton has also claimed he thought he'd retire from F1 a few years ago, when he was operating at the very peak of his powers.

The 37-year-old explained his U-turn by saying: "What you've got to learn is you should never say never.

"But at that point [five years ago], I definitely didn't think I'd be continuing.

"They are frickin' long seasons. It's a long time away from everyone. I've been doing it 16 years. It's gruelling.

"There's a lot of glitz and glamour and lots of positives but it's by no means easy to stay at your best, to stay committed, to keep up the training, to continue to deliver.

"It's a lot of pressure.

"You're being scrutinised all the time and I'm in a place in my life where there's no way I can win.

"If I win a race, it's: 'Oh, he's a seven-time world champion, you got 103 wins.'

"If I don't do well, it's [criticism]… I can only lose at this point in life.

"So for sure there was a period of time when I was questioning whether I wanted to go through that."

Earlier in the year, Mike Elliot left Mercedes.


Mike Elliot

Lewis Hamilton has insisted he wasn't behind the departure of Mercedes chief Mike Elliot


Some felt his relationship with Hamilton had become strained due to the veteran's issues on the grid.

Yet the Mercedes star has insisted that isn't the case and that the team are working hard to improve in the future.

“First of all, I would like to emphasize that it’s not my fault that Mike left us," he said.

"But we are all part of a team in which the pieces of the puzzle have to fit together."

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