Lewis Hamilton has claimed beating Max Verstappen is not among his main motivations to stay in F1 despite being denied a record-breaking eighth world title last season in controversial fashion at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Mercedes star has stressed he is not just in the sport to beat Verstappen and secure another title.
In a hint he plans to race into his 40s, Hamilton says he sees no reason to quit yet. The seven-time champion commented he was “healthier than ever” and accepted his passion for racing “won’t go away”.
When asked if beating Verstappen was his main motivator in an interview with Channel 4, Hamilton replied: “Less than you’d think. I think it’s more just where I am in life. I’ve got great things happening outside, I’ve got a lot of freedom to be able to do things, I’m building things outside of the sport with my foundation I’ve just started and it will take a lot of work.”
He added: “I feel healthier than I’ve ever been, just because of what I eat and how I prepare myself, and I love racing. I’ve been doing it since as long as I can remember, since I was five years old and that won’t go away.
This would take Hamilton to the end of the 2028 season where he will be 43 years old, the same age Michael Schumacher was when he retired from the sport.
Wolff said: “Lewis will be the first one to say ‘I can’t do this anymore because I feel I haven’t got the reactions anymore. Or ‘I’ve just lost fun doing it and there is another generation growing up that is just very strong.
“So I have no doubt that whatever we agree on a contract extension – which is going to happen – that we both are always going to discuss, very openly, what does the future hold.”