Lewis Hamilton has conceded that Sebastian Vettel’s decision to retire at the end of this season has made him reflect on his position as one of F1’s oldest drivers.
Vettel revealed his plans on Thursday ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, meaning that if he starts every remaining race he will end up one short of the 300 milestones Hamilton reached last time out in France.
Fernando Alonso is the only driver on the grid who has more starts than the pair.
Asked if Vettel’s announcement has caused him to reconsider his own future, Hamilton said: “It doesn’t.
“It’s a reminder that I’m in that part of my career that people that I came up with, and have raced with for so long, will start to stop.
“Before you know it, Fernando will not be here and then…who is there after that? I’ll be the oldest. But no, it’s not made me think about that.”
Hamilton to stop before he is “burnt out”
After scoring his highest finish of the season at the last race in France in finishing runner-up to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Hamilton revealed he has plenty left in the tank to carry on, potentially until 400 races.
What he has made clear, however, is that he will not continue until he has nothing left to give.
Assessing the short- and the long-term path ahead, Hamilton said: “Honestly, I’m thinking about how I can improve this car.
“I’m thinking about what the steps are that I need to take to get this team winning again, what is the roadmap to winning another world championship.
“[I’m thinking] What are the steps that we need to have everyone aligned in this sport to do more to start truly reflecting the work that we are trying to do in terms of diversity. I’m thinking of all of those things.
“When I talk about fuel left in the tank, I’m still fighting for all of those things and I still feel I’ve got plenty to go with that.
“More likely than not, when I stop, I will still have fuel in the tank. I don’t think I will go until I’m completely burnt out and have nothing left but hopefully that’s a while off.”