“I’m not fazed by retiring” – Lewis Hamilton is relaxed about his Mercedes future as contract extension talks reach a stalemate, with George Russell waiting in the wings.
Lewis Hamilton would like to and should compete this season if he is to break Michael Schumacher’s record of most world titles. But with contract talks with Mercedes reaching an impasse, there is a possibility of him being left without a drive this season, with George Russell replacing him.
🗞 Numerous reports are claiming that Lewis Hamilton could be set to imminently retire from Formula 1, after contract negotiations with Mercedes have come to a standstill.
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) January 11, 2021
Hamilton, on his part, is relaxed about retiring, especially at the pinnacle of the sport. He wants to continue for social reasons like diversity in the F1 community. The Hamilton Commission has been formed keeping this in mind and has supported the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.
“There was a moment that I thought that when I leave, I want to leave on top and that will be it. But what I’ve realized, particularly this year, is I have a responsibility to the F1 community for what it has helped me create, to push for that change.
“If I don’t push forwards and make sure that this Hamilton Commission actually delivers, this sport is not going to be more diverse in the next five to 10 years. So I have got to stay on top of it, I’ve got to be engaged, I’ve got to continue to keep people on their toes.
“While perhaps some people would perhaps prefer that I didn’t speak out in public and push for certain things, I think that’s my responsibility. And getting this sport to be more diverse in the future, I 100 percent believe I could be a part of that change.
When I stop this, I’m not fazed by retiring. I speak to a lot of people and they say ‘You’re a long time retired’ and I’m aware of that.
Toto Wolff on the Lewis Hamilton contract situation
His boss Toto Wolff, meanwhile has confirmed he will respect the driver’s decision to stay or to quit. If he does the latter, it would be quite an extraordinary circumstance of the reigning champion not defending his title.
It doesn’t worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis’s decisions.
“Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curveballs being thrown at us. But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together.”