LEWIS HAMILTON has opened up about his own retirement plans after Sebastian Vettel announced he will leave F1 at the end of this season.
Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season
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Lewis Hamilton has claimed he is not ready to retire after Sebastian Vettel announced an end to his F1 career at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The seven-time champion said he was not thinking about leaving the sport even though he will soon be one of the oldest on the grid.
Hamilton has also fired a warning to pacesetters Ferrari and Red Bull that his only goal was to get Mercedes back to winning ways. When asked if Vettel’s decision to walk away had prompted Hamilton to consider his future, the British star claimed it would not have an impact.
He explained: “It doesn’t. It’s a reminder that I am in that part of my career that the people I came up with and race with for so long are starting to stop. Before you know it, Fernando [Alonso] will not be there and then who is after that? I will be the oldest I guess.
“It has not made me think about that because I am thinking about how I can improve this car, what the next step is we need to get this team winning again, what is the road map to winning another world championship.” Rumours on whether Hamilton will continue in F1 have circulated all season after Mercedes struggles.
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Lewis Hamilton has spoken on his retirement plans after Vettel’s announcement (Image: Getty)
Earlier this year, many pundits suggested Hamilton could hang up his helmet if the Silver Arrows continued to be uncompetitive. However, Hamilton cooled the speculation at Imola in a social media post suggesting only he would decide when to quit.
At the French Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed he had spoken to Hamilton about his F1 future. The Austrian claimed Hamilton could stay with the team for another 100 races and win another three titles with the German manufacturer.
Hamilton responded by claiming he was enjoying competing in F1 “more than ever”.
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Lewis Hamilton has said he is still enjoying F1 (Image: Getty)
He commented: “I firstly just want to be grateful to get to this point. I’m still fresh and still feel I’ve got plenty of fuel left in the tank. Of course, I want to get back to winning ways and that’s going to take time. I’m sure we’ll sit down at some stage and talk about the future.
“I’m enjoying what I’m doing, and feel really proud working with this incredible group of people. I’m also enjoying working with the sport more than ever. We’ve got some great people leading the sport, we’re having great conversations about the direction we’re going in.”
Vettel said the decision to leave F1 was “difficult” but stressed he wanted to spend more time with his family.