In a recent interview with Unibet “The Flying Finn”, Mika Hakkinen shared his opinions on the devotion of the 7-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton to the sport. According to Hakkinen, Hamilton’s racing spirit might not be what it once was, and questions the 38-year-old’s capabilities to fend off his 25-year-old teammate, George Russell.
Hakkinen, who won the 1998 & 1999 world championships with McLaren F1 discerns a change in Lewis’ mindset. According to Finn, this change in priorities is common as drivers get older.
Sebastian Vettel is the most recent example, the 4 time title winner retired last year claiming that his passion has disappeared as he was no longer competitive. Mika further added, “I know Lewis’ head is not 100% in racing anymore”.
Is Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes?
The future of the British driver in the sport has been an area of debate. Recently rumors arose that Lewis is about to renew his contract with Mercedes after ruminations with Team Principal, Toto Wolff. Rumors foretell Hamilton’s renewed contract would only be for 1 year, with an extension of another year depending on the drivers’ performance.
The new contract would also include a pay cut from the old $55 million per year deal.
Which potential team can Lewis Hamilton join?
Other rumors speculate that the British driver could move to the Scuderia Ferrari team in search of a better-performing car hoping for an 8th world title. However Fred Vasseur, Ferraris team principal, and Lewis both have denied such claims, but the theories continue on.
Hakkinen describes Lewis joining the Scuderia as a “surprise” and that he thinks it is “highly unlikely”.
Mika continues by questioning the British drivers’ capacity to compete against his rising teammate George Russell by saying “Does Lewis have enough energy to wake up every morning, give his everything and bring results so that he can beat his team-mate? Is that the right future for him?”
The young and talented Russell has given Hamilton a good battle out on track this season, out-qualifying Lewis 4 times and coming 5th in the drivers’ championship. Mercedes looks content with their current line-up of British drivers, and looks to focus on the upcoming British Grand Prix at the esteemed Silverstone Circuit.
The 7 time world champion on the other hand tries to accommodate racing somewhere in his busy schedule of many projects like his Extreme E racing team X44 Vida Carbon Racing, producing a Formula 1-inspired movie with Brad Pitt and several charities. These projects raise questions regarding where racing falls in the list of priorities for Lewis Hamilton.
With the details of the new contract expected to be revealed this race week, hopefully, a clear answer emerges.