Former F1 Driver Explains Why He Tips Lewis Hamilton to Leave Mercedes

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February 15, 2021 2:50 am

After a long wait, Lewis Hamilton announced last week that he has extended his contract with Mercedes till the end of 2021. The duration of the deal seemed surprising to everyone, and now, the question everyone is asking is what will happen at the end of 2021.

Mercedes will have two empty seats, and if Hamilton wants to continue, there will be a renegotiation.

Another possibility is that Hamilton might retire in 2022 after a championship win in the 2021 season, saying ‘eight and vacate,’ as eloquently phrased by Craig Slater.

However, a former F1 driver denied this claim in De Telegraaf’s podcast and explained what the Briton might do after the next season wraps up.

“I see him switching to another team where he can win more. During the season without a doubt he will start to look around him.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“He is an outspoken driver and also for that reason he will want to stay in Formula 1, because of course, from there he can always make his opinion heard,” said Christijan Albers.

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Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t have vetoed Verstappen, claims Albers

During the weeks where Mercedes was silent on Hamilton’s contract, there were a lot of speculations of what the contract talked about. One such speculation was that Hamilton was asking for a veto clause in the contract.

The F1 community was of an understanding that the clause was in place to stop Mercedes from roping in Verstappen as the Briton’s teammate. However, Albers explained that Hamilton would not have done so.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

“Why? What does Lewis Hamilton have to lose? He could take that pressure off in ten seconds by saying: ‘Listen, I’m not where I was anymore, I no longer have the talent I was 30 because now I’m 37, 38,” Albers argued.

However, Toto Wolff put the rumors to rest in an interview by revealing that nothing of the sort came up in their negotiations.

The cloud uncertainty that this contract has cast over the Briton’s future has divided the fans. Some believe Hamilton should continue driving post in 2022 as well while others believe that he should retire after his eight win, bowing out on a high.

What do you think? Will Lewis continue to race post the 2021 season?

Ayush Manjunath

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 contributor at EssentiallySports, based in Bengaluru. He is an intense lover of Formula 1, Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen, and George Russell, and has previously worked as an athlete agent. He is a law graduate and is currently enrolled in a Sports Management Program at GISB, Mumbai. 2019 was quite an eventful year for Ayush, as he completed a program in Sports, Media and Entertainment Management at UCLA, won a national moot court competition, and judgement national writing competition.

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