F1’s Valtteri Bottas has shared his thoughts on why he thinks Lewis Hamilton wants to stay in the sport. 2022 marked the Alfa Romeo driver’s first season in F1 since leaving Mercedes, and he’s watched the Brit struggle to try and secure a first win of the season.
Bottas, 33, grew accustomed to watching the 37-year-old win numerous races and championships, but this year, Mercedes were unable to field a car capable of competing for the title. Not much has gone Hamilton’s way on track since he controversially lost the 2021 F1 world title battle to Max Verstappen.
Hamilton has given 15 years to F1 and has pledged his future to the sport in recent weeks. The events in Abu Dhabi last year is one of the main reasons Bottas believes his old team-mate wants to continue in the sport.
“I think he’s not satisfied with obviously the end of last year, and also this year,” Bottas told media, including RacingNews365.com. “He seems like he is still enjoying it, and I think recently he’s been back at his level again. Why not [stay]? He loves racing.”
Should Hamilton extend his contract beyond 2023, he would likely be racing into his 40s. This follows on from Fernando Alonso’s signing of a multi-year deal with Aston Martin at the age of 41. Bottas thinks that this shows that drivers can still achieve in the sport at different ages.
“Obviously, every driver’s individual,” the 10-time race winner said. “I think it’s a lot up to you; if you still want it, if you still want to be competitive, you can.” Hamilton’s current teammate George Russell, says he is excited by the prospect of being Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes for several years to come.
Russell also spoke of his desire to keep learning from Hamilton, who is statistically F1’s most successful driver of all time, and praised his relationship with the F1 legend as they seek to restore glory to the silver arrows. “It’s really exciting to have that potential of Lewis staying on for a number of years to come,” Russell told reporters.
“I think he has proven that he’s definitely not lifted his foot off the throttle pedal, and he’s definitely [in] the last few races performing probably better than ever.”
“It’s really exciting for me to have the opportunity to be his teammate, to go directly head-to-head with him and grow on this journey that we’re on together, because it really does feel like a journey that the two of us are on, along with the rest of the team, in trying to bring Mercedes back to winning ways,” Russell added.
“So I think we’ve got a really, really great, transparent relationship and it would be great to be teammates for a number of years to come.”