Lewis Hamilton Has No Desire To Race Outside Of Formula 1
Name your favorite driver in any form of motorsport. Now explain why. For me the answer to the "why" is simple, I like throwback racers. I like the drivers who do more than their chosen discipline. In the old days it was commonplace to see F1 drivers mixing it up at Le Mans or Indy. Mario Andretti won championships in Indy and F1, he also raced at Le Mans and won the Daytona 500. To me that is the reason we look back on that era of racing with such reverence.
Today it is rare for a F1 driver to branch out and try other disciplines during their F1 career. What made Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 attempt last year so special was the rarity of what he was doing. Now Alonso is going to race in the Daytona 24 as well as Le Mans (if recent rumors are to be believed.) Say what you will about the man but Alonso's willingness to race different machinery during the peak of his career says all you need to know about him as a driver.
Unfortunately not all drivers share his desire to be more than an F1 driver. Lewis Hamilton rises to the top of that list thanks to his recent run of success and viability outside of racing. While it would be extremely cool to see Hamilton try his hand at Indy or sportscar racing it would appear he has zero desire to do so.
"It's very difficult to do something unique and different today," Hamilton told Brazil's UOL. "In the past there were drivers who raced in several different categories, but I don't have the desire to do that. I admire what Alonso wants to do, but for me formula one is the maximum experience a driver can have"
"I have other qualities and projects that I am interested in and good at," said the reigning World Champion. "In the coming years you will see what they are but it's more than racing. One day I'll hang up my gloves and that's what I'll do. I hope people accept that appreciate it in the same way that they do with my driving," Hamilton said.
The question we all want to know is why? Every single racer who has climbed the mountain in their sport didn't get there by accident. They got there with a singular desire for speed and to be the best. That is something you can't turn off. At some point Hamilton's F1 career will come to an end. There is a decent chance that happens before the desire to go fast wears out. Ex-F1 drivers can find homes in any number of series that feed the need for speed. I will believe Mr. Hamilton when that time comes.
Lost in all of this is Hamilton's willingness to discuss his life after racing recently. He has mentioned life beyond the driver seat on multiple occasions of late and it makes you wonder if the end of his career is sooner than we all expect. Even in his chosen series, F1 there is still a lot he could still accomplish. Michael Schumacher's record for race wins and championships are well within Hamilton's grasp. That should serve as one hell of a motivator for someone with Hamilton's competitive drive.
What do you think? Is Hamilton nearing the end? Will that end see him stop at F1 or will the competitive desire see him racing in something other than a Formula 1 car? Let us know in the comments below!