• Lewis Hamilton's F1 contract comes to an end at the end of 2020.
• The driver hinted at possibly quitting the sport this year.
• Hamilton has several interests outside of Formula 1.
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Over the weekend of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, media representatives posed a question to Lewis Hamilton on his Formula 1 future.
Hamilton, the ever fast-thinking driver who has the sport wrapped around his finger, gave an answer that could be interpreted in quite a few ways. What it comes down to, though, is that he might quit the sport at the end of 2020.
What?! F1 without Lewis Hamilton? Stranger things have happened, but if it does come down to it and he calls time on his F1 career, then the sport will surely lose one of the biggest stars it ever had.
The dotted line
While Mercedes-AMG confirmed the services of Valtteri Bottas for the 2021 F1 season, lead driver and defending champion Hamilton is yet to commit to the team beyond this year. With his contract expiring at the end of the current season, it is rumoured that Hamilton is looking to renew his agreement with the team to the tune cool of more than $50 million per year.
That would make him the highest-paid driver on the current grid and him winning a record-equaling seventh championship would surely increase his stock.
Hamilton's comments on quitting the sport could be a gimmick to get the team to agree to his asking price, but it could also mean that he wants to secure a high-paying salary before salary caps are introduced in 2023. If Hamilton can ensure a long-term agreement that runs into 2023 with the option to extend, then his pre-2023 agreement must be respected and the maximum cap of $30 million per year will only come into play when a new deal is struck.
Do you think Hamilton will sign a new deal with the Mercedes-AMG team? Email us.
Interests outside F1
For the last decade or so, Hamilton has tried his hand at various activities outside of F1, most notably his fashion line and rapping on the side. Recently, the F1 champion announced that he had entered a team to the newly found Extreme-E championship. The series focuses on rallying in parts of the world that are threatened by ecological and human-forced elements.
Hamilton has become quite an avid spokesperson and ambassador for the wrongs made against the planet, and him joining Extreme-E is part of speaking out.
If Hamilton's comments on possibly quitting the sport are accurate, then he will have ample activities to keep him busy. From fashion and music to a new age of motorsport, Hamilton will be occupied enough not to miss F1 all that much. If he should quit, the sport will miss him - for sure - but after 14 seasons (2007 - 2020) he has cemented himself in its annals. And for as long as the time endures, no one would ever forget what he achieved.
Our take: Lewis Hamilton will sign a new contract with Mercedes-AMG and it will 1) be a multi-year contract and 2) the biggest, in terms of salary, in the sport's history.