Lewis Hamilton is extending his F1 career to help Mercedes overcome problems
Lewis Hamilton has revealed that Mercedes’ troubles in 2022 have given him new motivation to continue in Formula 1
Mercedes’ struggles this campaign have been well documented and with just six races remaining, the reigning constructors’ champions have yet to win a race.
2022 also presented a new challenge for Hamilton. After entering the sport in 2007, there was rarely a time when he was not competing for wins and championships.
He is currently on course for his worst ever finish in the drivers’ standings but said the new challenge of dealing with an injured Mercedes has given him a new boost in terms of his career.
Definitely, because it will take more than one year,” Hamilton told RACER regarding a potential eighth world championship.
“If we had won just last year and then won this year, definitely life would be in a different place and you would be on another course.
“I like that it’s gone through a stricter phase and we’ve got to deal with that thick mess and get to a point where we’re a little lighter and a little more buoyant. So yes, I would say it encouraged me to stay longer.
“ I feel fit and find the best ways to feel physically better. The mental challenge is a constant thing and always will be because that’s how it is for us athletes because we’re on the edge.
“But right now, where I’m at in life, I’m really grateful for the opportunity I have here. I like to think I still deserve a place here, and there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”
Hamilton also said he draws inspiration from the likes of Tom Brady when he sees other athletes compete at a high level despite their age.
“He’s also an older athlete and he’s killing it right now – I’m like, ‘I want what you’ve got!’ So we have a lot to learn from everyone.
“And to be part of that peer group — I’ve always hoped that one day we’d be able to connect with each other, so it’s very surreal to be sitting with Tom and us talking on a similar wavelength.” It’s very, very, very surreal, very cool.”
What can Lewis Hamilton achieve in the twilight of his career?
Following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement, Hamilton will become F1’s second-oldest driver in 2023, behind only superman Fernando Alonso.
At the age of 37 and with seven drivers’ championships in his arguably massive trophy cabinet, there isn’t much left for Hamilton to achieve in the sport.
Of course, there is still the matter of an eighth world championship, which would move him one place behind Michael Schumacher and make him, statistically at least, the greatest driver to ever compete in the sport.
Hamilton has indicated that is where his focus lies and given Mercedes’ form in 2022, there is no guarantee the title will come in 2023.
Vettel’s retirement also means Hamilton becomes the only driver on the grid willing to talk about issues he believes in. Hamilton will be a superstar long after he hangs up his racing gloves, but there’s no question he’ll get more coverage while he’s still in the sport.
With that in mind, Hamilton will want to use this platform to his advantage and support causes like his Mission 44 foundation and other charitable causes.
The Brit also seems excited to launch the new generation, having held onto the top for so long. In the same interview with RACER, he spoke of wanting to create a pleasant working environment not only for his teammate George Russell but also for the likes of Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris.
In the final phase of his career, he could also be moving towards the business side of things. Even if Hamilton retires from driving, he has undoubtedly earned a lifetime job at Mercedes and may even fill a Niki Lauda-style role at some point in the future.
Whatever else is in store for Hamilton, given what he’s done for the sport, there’s no doubt that he, and he alone, is the one making the decisions.