Behind the scenes

Lewis Hamilton on his F1 future: ‘I have plenty of fuel in the tank’

Seven-time world champion finished second on his 300th grand prix start

After driving in his 300th Formula 1 grand prix, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has hinted that he could extend his career when his Mercedes contract expires at the end of the 2023 season. 

Mercedes have been “off the pace” this year, said Giles Richards in The Guardian, with Red Bull and Ferrari leading the way in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. However, 37-year-old Hamilton finished second behind race winner Max Verstappen at yesterday’s French Grand Prix and the British driver was “elated” with his “best finish of the season” so far, the paper added. 

Speaking after the French GP at Circuit Paul Ricard, Hamilton said he still feels “fresh” and “there is plenty of fuel in the tank”. He added that he’s enjoying his time in the sport “more than ever”. 

Hamilton, who is level with Michael Schumacher on seven world titles, was “impressive” as he took a “strong second” in France, said the BBC’s Andrew Benson. After passing Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez at the start, the Mercedes driver “comfortably held off” the Mexican and it was his teammate George Russell who finished third to complete the podium. 

That’s a lot of races… 

The prospect of Hamilton extending his contract “was a talking point over the weekend”, said Matt Morlidge on Sky Sports. On Saturday Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff “egged on that narrative” as he spoke to reporters about Hamilton’s future in F1. 

“We talked a few weeks ago about how long our partnership can go,” Wolff said. “The number that was discussed was five to ten years, so I think we can get to 400 [races]! Someone once said you have not just got to win the eighth [title], so why not ten?”

When asked about the possibility of 400 grands prix, Hamilton replied: “That’s a lot of races!”

Joining the ‘300 club’

At the French GP yesterday Hamilton became just the sixth driver in F1 history to start 300 races. It’s another impressive record added to his “long list of accomplishments in the sport”, said Nadim Bart-Williams on Formula1.com. He joins Kimi Räikkönen (350 starts), Fernando Alonso (345), Rubens Barrichello (322), Michael Schumacher (306) and Jenson Button (306) on the landmark tally. 

Two of Hamilton’s former teammates – Alonso and Button – are also in the “300 club”, said Will Gray on GPFans.com. And having raced against many greats in his career, “it was inevitable he would be asked to name the toughest of them all”.

In terms of “pure pace and ability”, Hamilton picked out two-time world champion Alonso, who returned to F1 in 2021 with Alpine Renault. “We had some good battles,” he said. “I wish we could have more and, hopefully, he is going to continue to race so we will have more in the future.”

In numbers: Lewis Hamilton’s F1 career 

  • Age: 37 
  • Debut: at the 2007 Australian GP for McLaren (aged 22)
  • Race starts: 300 
  • Race wins: 106 
  • Podiums: 187 
  • Pole positions: 103
  • World championships: seven (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Recommended

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
View from the terraces

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis
Serena Williams beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the Canadian Open in Toronto on 8 August
Profile

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?
The 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham
Behind the scenes

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend
Erling Haaland scored both goals on his Premier League debut for Manchester City
View from the terraces

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner