Will Lewis Hamilton retire to protect his legacy if he fails to win
Like it or not for all F1 fans, Sir Lewis Hamilton is becoming one of the best drivers in F1 history, if not the best, when should he hang up his racing boots?
While Mercedes dominated much of the turbo hybrid era, Red Bull gave Max Verstappen the tools to beat him for the last two championships.
When honors are no longer bestowed and the 37-year-old is not getting any younger, few would begrudge his retirement. In fact, Hamilton’s haters are probably salivating at the thought of Verstappen not being put in his place for a long time.
However, the seven-time champion put retirement rumors to bed a few weeks ago, saying he was targeting a new “multi-year deal” with the Silver Arrows.
“That kind of [my] retirement is always delayed, and frankly, I don’t like the idea,” he said.
“We have a lot more work to do as a team, as individuals in the team, we have a lot more work to do as a sport and I want to be part of that change.”
The big question is, will Hamilton risk his legacy if he stays? F1 history is littered with drivers who won the championship but retired as background badges.
Take Jenson Button: underdog and contender at BAR Honda, champion at Brawn GP and early contender again at McLaren.
However, the team’s momentum collapsed during the McLaren-Honda years and they finished their final season in 2016 in 15th place.
Jacques Villeneuve, who won the title in 1997, also finished 15th in his final F1 season when he retired from BMW Sauber midway through the 2006 campaign. Will Hamilton risk things a bit?
Retirement does not always inspire respect. Look at Nico Rosberg, who gave up the championship, yes, but some people remember him as running away from the fight.
Michael Schumacher is also back with an unrepaired three-year-old Mercedes and continues to be revered by fans around the world.
Likewise, Hamilton can’t win now, but he’s already done enough to cement his reputation in the sport, no matter what he does next.
Still unhappy Max fans. The man with the most wins in F1 could be a thorn in the Dutchman’s side for years to come.