What could happen if Lewis Hamilton retires?
What if Lewis Hamilton decides to race in other series'? What would option would he have currently?
As you might have heard recently, the contract negotiations between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have hit a few bumps. The rumours are that, Mercedes are hesitant to give Hamilton the salary that he has been asking for (reportedly from £35-50million). And Mercedes are also hesitant to give the champion a long term contract. Sean from The F1 Word created brilliant video addressing this issue, and gave his thoughts about the rumours that Lewis Hamilton could retire. He said that he believes Lewis Hamilton will stick with Mercedes for next couple of years at least, and I agree. Lewis Hamilton is at the height of his career and racing in 2021 will almost guarantee an eighth world championship for the Briton. Therefore, I don't see him retiring any time soon, however just like Sean, I am 95% sure that he will not retire. However, since it is the off season, and there isn't such to talk about, I wanted to explore that 5% chance that he will retire from F1. What could Lewis Hamilton do if he does decide to hang up his F1 helmet?
Lewis Hamilton is currently involved in numerous ventures outside F1. Lewis has his own line of fashion in partnership with Tommy Hilfiger. He also has his own music and goes by the nick name XNDA. Lewis is also a very charitable man and hopes to get more involved with his initiative to get more African American students in to motorsport. And last but not least, Lewis also owns an Extreme E team.
However, what if Hamilton takes his talents elsewhere? We've all heard about drivers from one series going to another to prove their worth. But we don't talk about driver movement from one series to another much in F1. Not in the context of the big names at least. The last person to move around to different racing series if most famously Fernando Alonso. But before him, you would have to go back almost 10 years to see a big F1 name move series.
Fernando Alonso at the 2018 Indy500
These speculations are just that, speculations. Because there is no way on god's green earth that these moves could actually happen. Let's dive in.
In the past, Hamilton Has said that if he were race in any other series, it would be Nascar. However given that Hamilton has sold all his electric cars and his views towards electrification, it's safe to say that he won't be going to Nascar any time soon.
The current IndyCar grid almost filled, with the big full time seat being filled. However, recently it's been reported by David Land that a possible fifth Penske car could be added to the Indy 500. This off course would be for a single event, but it would be possible to make that a full time entry. Roger Penske who owns the team and the series, has an ambition introduce more African American drivers into the grid and one of the steps that he has taken in that regard is to create a IndyLights(what F2 is to F1) team which will host African American drivers. Given that Penske is making steps like those, it would be logical to hire Lewis Hamilton for that fifth IndyCar seat. Bringing in Hamilton would also bring in a lot of media and sponsors, not only to Penske, but IncyCar in general. IndyCar would get a lot of attention from new fans and the fact that he has been recently knighted, would add to the publicity. Signing Hamilton to IndyCar would also see him compete against the 7 time Nascar champion, Jimmie Johnson. What a headline that would be. You would see two of the greatest active drivers go head to head. And not to mention to now 6 time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
7 time Nascar Champion testing an IndyCar
Hamilton would also be welcome in the World Endurance Championship, where it seems like new manufactures are joining every day to the hyper-car class, which will run at the Lemans 24. Manufacturers like Porsche, Audi, Toyota, Alpine , Peugeot would be waiting on Hamilton's door step to sign him up to their programs.
Porsche hypercar concept car
And finally, the most likely out of my three wild suggestions, Formula E. Hamilton has long been a supporter of electrification and given that Formula E cars are fully electric, it seems like a match made in heaven. Mercedes already has a Formula E team so Hamilton wouldn't have to switch manufacturers.
Mercedes Formula E team
As aforementioned, this is just speculation.