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Lewis Hamilton reveals U-turn on F1 retirement and makes Toto Wolff feelings clear


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Lewis Hamilton has revealed he thought he would retire from F1 a few years ago.

But the Briton is still eager for success, despite Mercedes enduring a difficult campaign.

Hamilton signed a new contract with Mercedes earlier in the year that ties him to the Silver Arrows until 2025.

And though Max Verstappen is the best driver in the sport right now, with three successive triumphs to his name, his rival is still dreaming of a historic eighth F1 crown.

Lewis Hamilton F1 news

Lewis Hamilton is eager for more success in F1 after winning seven titles over the course of his career so far


Hamilton has now spoken to BBC Sport and revealed he thought he would retire a few years ago.

A desire to achieve further glory in the future continues to spur him on, however.

Explaining his U-turn, he said: “What you’ve got to learn is you should never say never.

“But at that point [five years ago], I definitely didn’t think I’d be continuing.

“They are frickin’ long seasons. It’s a long time away from everyone. I’ve been doing it 16 years. It’s gruelling.

“There’s a lot of glitz and glamour and lots of positives but it’s by no means easy to stay at your best, to stay committed, to keep up the training, to continue to deliver.

“It’s a lot of pressure.

“You’re being scrutinised all the time and I’m in a place in my life where there’s no way I can win.

“If I win a race, it’s: ‘Oh, he’s a seven-time world champion, you got 103 wins.’

“If I don’t do well, it’s [criticism]… I can only lose at this point in life.

“So for sure there was a period of time when I was questioning whether I wanted to go through that.”

He added: “I still love driving. I still love getting into the car.

“When they start the car up and you have all those people around you, the crew, you go down the pit lane, I still get this smile on my face the same as I did the first day I drove.”

One person who has been criticised amid Mercedes’ inconsistency is Toto Wolff.

The Austrian has overseen huge success over the years but, over the past three seasons, has received scrutiny.

Hamilton rates Wolff highly, however, and feels Mercedes must work together as a team to bring the glory days back.

“[There is] a huge amount of pressure, for sure,” continued the Stevenage-born racer.

“Not just Toto, but globally, for all of us. Everyone back at the factory, a huge amount of pressure on everyone.

“Ultimately, as a boss like Toto, you have to start leaning on people more, rather than backing off on them.

“And how you do that is not easy, because people break at a certain point.


Toto Wolff F1

Lewis Hamilton has praised Toto Wolff and feels Mercedes must work together to bring the glory days back


“So how do you do it in a constructive way that’s encouraging them and inspiring them to continue?

“For me, hopefully some of the race results and drives that I’ve been able to put in, I like to think that sparks inspiration for the guys, like: ‘Oh, we’re almost there.’

“And that trickles down through the whole system like: ‘Oh, he’s still got it – if we work hard and give him the car, he’s going to take us there.’

“That’s what I strive to be able to try to do.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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