Hamilton only has a one-year contract with Mercedes, and inevitably there has been a lot of speculation about his retirement at the end of 2021, especially if he wins a record-breaking eighth F1 World Championship.
Hamilton himself insisted he hadn’t made any decisions and that when he did it wouldn’t be swayed by the outcome of this year’s title battle, which he is currently waging.
He also recently participated in Pirelli’s 18-inch tire test program and spoke with some enthusiasm about the challenge of the upcoming rule changes for 2022.
Asked on a call with Wall Street analysts about the potential impact of the retirement of F1’s biggest star, Domenicali insisted that F1 always comes by when the best drivers stop racing.
“For sure Lewis Hamilton is a great asset,” said the Italian. “He does an incredible job sporting in terms of image. He was able to develop F1 in other areas that were not really specifically related to F1.
“But F1 itself is strong, and the drivers, champions, are always in a place where one day they can retire.
“I don’t know what Lewis is doing, we’re talking with him, but of course now that he’s focused on his current season he’s fully energized to make sure he’s the only driver to win eight. titles in F1 history.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, lifts his trophy
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
“But you know, F1 is strong, tough, and of course, whatever Lewis decides, F1 is going to react and move on. The good news is that if Lewis, as we all hope, will stay, he will have an incredible season ahead of him with the new cars, with a new challenge, and it sure can be very interesting for him.
“If he decides in a different way, the good news is that in F1 we have so many good drivers today who are at least the challenge, the luck and will be even stronger. Therefore, of course, Whatever Lewis’s decision, we will respect him. But F1 is really solid and strong. “