Toto Wolff has shut down any Lewis Hamilton retirement rumours, saying it was never an option.
Hamilton won his seventh WDC last season, and it looked like he would be in the sport for a long time to come. However, Mercedes delayed his contract extension by a lot of time. As a result, there were rumours that the Brit would retire after matching the great Michael Schumacher’s record.
Mercedes silenced those rumours by announcing Hamilton’s contract extension. Now they have done it again, so Hamilton will race for them until the end of 2023. However, there is no denying the fact that at the time, there were genuine concerns regarding Hamilton’s future.
Wolff spoke about the situation, and shut down any Hamilton retirement rumours.
Speaking to Motorsport Total, Wolff said, “I think he never wanted to stop competing in Formula 1.
“You always have to have options, of course. But, quitting was never an option. It seemed pretty clear that we would keep going.”
Wolff’s claims clash with Hamilton’s opinions. The British driver had, for a brief period at least, lost interest in racing. He had affirmed earlier that he was looking at other career alternatives.
“We were in a pandemic and so much has changed in the world. I was also unsure whether to continue or not,” Hamilton said.
“But then I had the best and most fun start to the year and enjoyed the rollercoaster ride. And with more direct contact with Wolff, the new contract was easier in the summer.”
“And this close fight brought me closer to the team. I had to hang in even more, and I love this discovery. It rekindled my love for the sport. And I want to help develop the sport so it can be as great as possible,” Hamilton concluded.
For the near future at least, it seems Hamilton will continue at Mercedes and in the sport. His retirement is a concern, but perhaps it is a topic for another day.