According to team owner Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton wants and is capable of keeping his Mercedes seat for another five years.
Following the seven-time Formula One world champion’s highly contentious 2021 title loss and his struggles with Mercedes’ 2022 car, some have speculated that the 37-year-old Hamilton is now racing towards retirement.
The British driver is under contract until the end of next season, and Wolff says contract talks for 2024 have already begun.
“Last week, we sat down, and he says, ‘Look, I have another five years in me – how do you see that?’ We are completely honest with each other.”
Wolff’s response to Hamilton was that he believes he is more than capable of emulating Fernando Alonso and racing well past his 40th birthday.
“Is he still the same Fernando he was when he was 25?” “I don’t know, but he’s still very competitive,” Wolff said.
“So Lewis, with the way he lives his life, with the full, ultra-narrow focus on his F1 racing – I think he can take it quite far,” he told Channel 4.
At the same time, Wolff believes Hamilton can recognise when he is no longer up to the task.
“Lewis will be the first to say, ‘I can’t do this anymore because I don’t feel I’m getting the reactions.'” Or, ‘I’ve just lost interest in it, and there is another generation growing up that is just very strong.’
“So I have no doubt that whatever contract extension we agree on – which will happen – we will both always discuss, very openly, what the future holds.”