NOVEMBER 11, 2020

Hamilton could retire after 2021 says Chilton

Lewis Hamilton could retire after becoming F1's first ever eight time world champion.

Lewis Hamilton, Emilio Romagna GP 2020
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton could retire after becoming F1's first ever eight time world champion.

That is the view of Max Chilton, an Indycar driver who raced in Formula 1 for Marussia in 2013 and 2014.

Hamilton, who will certainly equal Michael Schumacher's all-time title record with his seventh world championship this year, is yet to sign a new deal with Mercedes beyond 2020.

He caused a stir at Imola by saying there is "no guarantee" he will still be on the grid in 2021.

"I can't see Lewis leaving Mercedes," Chilton told GQ magazine. "Lewis clearly wants a record eighth world title, and the best place for that to happen is with Mercedes.

"We have seen this season that the only driver who has put him under pressure is his teammate Valtteri Bottas, so why give up that advantage?"

However, 29-year-old Chilton can imagine that Hamilton, 35, might hang up his helmet after beating Schumacher's record at the end of 2021.

"I can't see him following Fernando Alonso in trying to win the triple crown," said the British driver. "I also can't see him going to Ferrari like so many champions before him.

"What drives Lewis on is an unmatched competitive spirit - and if the car is not performing to his expectations, it could quickly turn into a nightmare.

"You only have to see what has happened to Sebastian Vettel to see why a change may not be a good thing. Retire at the top, retire as the greatest. That is what I hope he does," Chilton added.

Chilton, however, thinks it is possible that a quite different future lies ahead for Hamilton's current Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff.

"I can see him leaving Mercedes," he said.

"He has done an unbelievable job with the team, but I wonder if he wants a new challenge. He has so many ties with Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll that a move could well be on the cards sooner rather than later."