At 37, Hamilton is the second-oldest driver on the Formula 1 grid Fernando Alonsohaving debuted back in 2007. Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2023 season, but he has given little indication that he believes next year will be his last in F1.
Mercedes team principal Wolff told Channel 4 ahead of last weekend’s race in Singapore that he had no doubt Hamilton would extend his contract, revealing the Briton had recently suggested he had “another five years in me”.
Hamilton spoke about his future at Suzuka on Thursday, saying that while he “can’t say yet” if he can continue for another five years, he “feels good” and is enjoying racing.
“I love what I do,” Hamilton said. “We still have a lot of work to do and a lot to achieve. I have no plans to leave anytime soon.”
Hamilton has made clear his intention not only to spend the rest of his time racing in Formula 1 with Mercedes, but also to enjoy his association with the manufacturer beyond his career, working to increase diversity and inclusion through the company and in motorsport as an industry.
Hamilton said it was “not set in stone” how long he would continue racing, but that future talks were “more about what we’re going to do”.
“I think Mercedes can do a lot, not just as a car manufacturer,” Hamilton said.
“It provides so many jobs for so many people, it has such a powerful platform to change narratives, it is in a place to have a really positive impact on the environment in the future.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photo: Zak Mauger / Images of motor sports
“There are many different things and I want to be part of this change and work process with Mercedes, not just winning races and championships.
“But for now, we want to win more championships. So that’s the immediate focus.”
But Hamilton said his decision on how much longer he will race in Formula 1 will be influenced “more by where I am in life” than his level of success, suggesting there is much to do work to make changes to the series.
“I can’t retire now because I’m just starting to help change and create a more open and inclusive environment here in the sport,” Hamilton said.
“I have to stay and help it continue. Also, I feel healthier than ever in terms of what I eat, how I train, and I love racing.
“I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember, since I was five, and it’s not going away.
“If I’m still fit and can focus, why would I stop? And still be able to do other things at the same time?”