Lewis Hamilton could quit Formula 1 if he doesn’t have a car to challenge for wins or titles, according to Martin Brundle. Speaking to Fox Sports, Brundle said Hamilton would stay as long as he was still enjoying being in the world of F1.
However, he warned Hamilton could take a “different view” if Mercedes are still the third-fastest car in 2022. He hinted Hamilton “won’t be enjoying it” if he is not able to compete with Red Bull and Ferrari which could see him leave the sport at the end of his current contract.
However, he still believes Hamilton is “hugely motivated” and could see beyond a “bumpy ride” to continue with the sport. He said: “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.”
He added: “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.
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“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 and Mercedes struggled at the Bahrain Grand Prix with the team behind on Ferrari and Red Bull all weekend. Hamilton and Russell benefited from late retirement from Red Bull to finish third and fourth.
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However, Hamilton himself said it was the “best result we could have got” after a difficult weekend.
He added: “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.”