Martin Brundle, legendary F1 pundit and ex-racing driver, has admitted that Lewis Hamilton could very well retire from the sport if the Mercedes car continues to show a lack of performance through 2022.
He told Fox Sports that the 7-time world champion “won’t be enjoying it” if the Mercedes isn’t one of the fastest cars on the grid and unable to compete with the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. And while he still believes that Hamilton is “hugely motivated”, he worries that 2022 will be a “bumpy ride” for the racing driver who could be thinking about retiring before the end of his current contract.
“If he goes through the whole year and Mercedes are third fastest and others are catching them up, then I suspect he’ll take a different view and my enjoyment analogy will play out in that he won’t be enjoying it anymore.”
“I think he’s still hugely motivated. I think even despite being 37 years old he’s still at the peak of his talent. George Russell will push him hard, and I think he’ll have an answer for that.”
“I think he’s such a force of nature. What else is he going to do with all that energy and competitive spirit and adrenaline? We’re all adrenaline junkies when we’ve been racing F1 for a number of years.
“Lewis has so many ambitions to change many things around the world — I really admire him for that — and he knows that Formula 1’s a platform to be able to do that. So I think as long as he’s still on balance enjoying it and he’s fast enough, he’ll keep doing it, and I think he’ll see beyond a bit of a bumpy ride.”
Hamilton was obviously disappointed with the pace of Mercedes after Bahrain despite the team striking gold as both Red Bulls suffered with powertrain issues leaving Hamilton free to take third and George Russell following in fourth.
After the Bahrain Grand Prix, he updated fans on the moves being made by the team:
“I know the guys are working really hard back at the factory and it is not going to be a quick turnaround but we’ve been the best unified team for so long, we all know to just keep your head down, keep working, there’s a long way to go.
“We’ve got to maximise our weekends and at some point, we’ll be back in the fight.”