Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had the worst year in F1 last season since he graced the sport in 2007.
The seven-time world champion failed to win a single Grand prix throughout the campaign for the first time in his illustrious career.
While he maintains that he is still extremely motivated to continue competing in the pinnacle of motorsport racing, he has admitted that the events of the 2022 season helped him put his life in perspective.
His sentiments were rather similar to those of Sebastian Vettel, a friend of Hamilton from the circuit who recently retired.
Even Vettel felt disillusioned in the final few years of his career before eventually calling time.
“Motorsport isn’t the most important thing for me either. When I was a kid maybe it was. Probably also when I got into Formula 1,” Hamilton said.
Lewis was a tremendous success even in his rookie year in F1 and there was not much to separate him with teammate Fernando Alonso, who was the reigning champion.
While Hamilton was ruthless in this thought process back then and wanted to win on the track at all costs, his mentality appears to have changed with greater maturity.
“Ever since I was in my 30s, I’ve realised that it’s all about making memories,” he said.
“With friends, with family. It’s about key memories with the people who mean the most to you.”
Making memories and enjoying his limited time left in the sport appears to be Hamilton’s main priority at this point.
The Stevenage-born driver has often spoken about his interest in the entertainment industry and was rumoured to cut his racing career short to find his calling in acting or the fashion industry.
He will recall how his former teammate Nico Rosberg announced his retirement after winning his maiden world championship.
He was said to be at the peak of his abilities at the time, but in many ways, it was also the best time to quit for him.
A famous saying in sport with respect to retirement is – “Retire when people ask why rather than why not”.
Plenty of elite athletes have extended their careers to a point where they almost seem to take the sheen off their previous achievements.
However, Lewis will hope that Mercedes offers him a challenger that will help him find his best form and give him a chance to win an elusive eighth world championship.