Speculation over Lewis Hamilton’s future after cryptic presser

Formula 1: Dan Ricciardo gives an odd interview
after the British Grand Prix.

Was this Hamilton’s last visit to Silverstone?

LEWIS Hamilton has hinted he could quit Formula 1 at
the end of the season…or has he?

The Mercedes driver declined to definitively rule out he will
leave the sport at the end of 2017 F1 season just hours after
winning the British GP to close the gap to title leader
Sebastian Vettel to just one point.

“I can’t really say what is going to happen six months from
now,” said Hamilton when asked about his future in his
post-race media briefing.

When asked to clarify his remarks, Hamilton stressed: “I love
driving and you could say it [retiring] is very unlikely, I’m
just saying that you don’t know what frame of mind I am going
to be at Christmas time. Hopefully it’s a really good one with
a fourth title.”

But Hamilton also gave no indication that quitting F1 was on
his mind.

“Apart from being with my family, the happiest moment I ever
have is when I have the car on a knife-edge,” the three-time
world champion said.

Hamilton had been asked about his future in the immediate
televised press conference after Sunday’s race.

“At the moment I’m loving driving,” Hamilton replied. “I feel
like I’m at my prime. I feel like I’m driving better than ever
and I’m loving driving with the team. So I can’t
imagine…there is no current reason to want to have to stop.

“I’m still enjoying it and I still have a contract with the
team for at least a year so I plan to see that out at the
moment.”

WHAT EXACTLY DID HAMILTON SAY?

Is this the end of Mercedes’ top dog?

Is this the end of Mercedes’
top dog?
Source:Getty Images

In terms of the contract and stuff, I can’t really say what is
going to happen six months from now. All l do know is that I am
loving racing and I really, really do feel within myself that I
am driving better than ever. I think I may have said that in
the past, perhaps with less conviction, but within myself I
know that right now I am at my best. I want to stay there, so I
will continue to prepare the best way I can – and only I know
how to prepare myself.”

Asked to clarify what he meant by his reference to ‘six
months’, Hamilton replied:

“I just meant that in life you don’t know what is going to
happen. Right now I love driving. You could say that it is very
unlikely, because I am always going to like driving and doing
crazy stuff, I’m just saying that you don’t know what frame of
mind I am going to be in at Christmas time. Hopefully it’s a
really good one with a fourth title. Even if I do get another
championship, it would never be a case of ‘now it’s time to
hang up my gloves’. I will always want to win more even when I
do stop. The focus at the moment is just getting that fourth.”

DID HAMILTON SOUND LIKE A DRIVER CONSIDERING RETIREMENT?

It doesn’t get much better than this.

It doesn’t get much better
than this.
Source:Getty Images

To that particular question the answer can only be an emphatic
‘no’.

Speaking inside the Mercedes hospitality unit with around 20
journalists present, Hamilton was relaxed, euphoric and
appreciative, stressing not only his gratitude to the
Silverstone crowd but also to his Mercedes team.

Hamilton still has eighteen months left on his Mercedes deal
and has spoken repeatedly in recent weeks about the strength of
his relationship both with the team and his boss, Toto Wolff.

In his own briefing earlier on Sunday night, Wolff had himself
dismissed rumours linking his star driver with Ferrari.

“What he [Hamilton] has said is that he is a Ferrari fan, like
we all are,” said the Mercedes chief. “It is a team every
driver dreams of driving for.

“He is in a very good place and he drives the fastest car at
the moment and that is a Mercedes. He has a contract which goes
for one and a half more years, and we have had the best dynamic
in the team so far, so all the talk outside has zero
relevance.”

On Saturday, Wolff had told Sky Sports News: “We are having a
really good relationship and talking about the future, albeit
this is a very tough championship so we are concentrating on
the weekends.

“Lewis is very much linked to Mercedes, and we love him as a
driver, and I think the same for us is valid for him, we are
going to try to find an agreement for the future.”

Talk of Hamilton quitting F1 also surfaced before the
Azerbaijan GP when the 31-year-old was quoted as saying “my
destiny is in my own hands. I can decide to stop at the end of
this year”.

But when he arrived in Baku, Hamilton told reporters: “I don’t
really remember discussing that. That’s not something I’m
thinking about right now.”

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