Three former Formula 1 drivers are wondering if Lewis Hamilton may be edging towards retirement.
Recently, Toto Wolff said contract talks with the 38-year-old are imminent.
But 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who was the seven time world champion’s teammate at McLaren, wonders whether the delayed talks are because Hamilton is waiting to see how competitive the 2023 Mercedes is.
“It has to be that, right?” Button told the Telegraph. “Why otherwise would you leave it this late? He knows how annoying we all are asking.”
Another British F1 champion, 1996 title winner Damon Hill, agrees that Hamilton will be pondering the issue of when to hang up his helmet “very hard”.
“As far as we know, he has no contract for 2024,” he said.
On the face of it, Mercedes is continuing to lag behind Red Bull with its new car – and perhaps even Ferrari and Aston Martin as well.
Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland that it could be a big problem as Wolff pushes for a new Hamilton deal.
“There’s a worm in there,” said the former F1 driver. “They’re not hitting their goals or they’ve set the wrong ones.
“The car is still difficult to drive,” Schumacher said after Bahrain testing.
“But the real question is, if Lewis is still behind, what motivation is left?”