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hamilton verstappen abu dhabi qualifying

Hamilton: Leaving at the top is everyone’s dream

hamilton verstappen abu dhabi qualifying

Lewis Hamilton shed light on why he will remain in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future, as he seeks to leave the sport he dominated for several years on a high.

The seven-time F1 world champion endured his worst season in the top flight last year, with no victories for the first time since 2007, and his worst championship finish in 16 years.

On Saturday, Hamilton will turn 38, only Fernando Alonso is older than him, and though his contract with Mercedes is set to run out at the end of 2023, an extension is expected, and an announcement is due during the winter, according to his team boss Toto Wolff.

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Speaking to Bild before Christmas, Hamilton said of the new contract status: “We haven’t started talking about it yet. So far we haven’t had the time, as we’ve always been on the road.

“Sometimes I wake up and I feel like I don’t want to do it anymore. Other times I think I can still do other things for the rest of my life. However, I think I will stay in this environment.”

Inadvertently or not, it emerged that Hamilton wants to emulate Nico Rosberg and leave the sport on a high: “I think stopping as a world champion is every athlete’s dream and I’m no exception.”

Famously, Rosberg was Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes from 2013 until the end of 2016; that final year Nico pipped Lewis to the title, amid a ‘civil war’ that erupted, within the team, between the pair. A childhood friendship that made way for a rivalry that never really petered out.

Hamilton continued: “For me, motorsport is not the most important thing. When I was a kid maybe it was. Probably also when I entered F1, but, since I turned 30, I have understood that it is important to have memories with friends and family.

“That’s what I focus on and plan things to create those moments because that’s what you take with you,” explained Hamilton, winner of 103 Grands Prix.