Bottas a key factor in Hamilton’s Mercedes retirement decision

Bottas a key factor in Hamilton's Mercedes retirement decision

Lewis Hamilton has been backed to extend his stay with Mercedes because Valtteri Bottas is the only F1 driver who can get anywhere near him. The Brit is on the cusp of winning a seventh F1 Drivers Championship. He’s way ahead of his Finnish team-mate and former Formula One star Max Chilton can’t see him leaving.

Hamilton has been coy about what the future holds, with the Brit refusing to commit to Mercedes for the time being. He’s been with them ever since 2013, where he left McLaren, while Bottas has been with them since quitting Williams back in 2017.

Hamilton has been dominant of F1 in recent years and Chilton thinks that, with Bottas the only driver who can near him at present, there’s no chance of him jumping ship and he also believes the 35-year-old will retire once he’s won the crown for an eighth time.

“In short, I can’t see Lewis leaving Mercedes,” Chilton wrote in his column for GQ Magazine, “Lewis clearly wants a record 8th world title, and the best place for that to happen is with Mercedes.”

“They have the best car, so why would he want to bring this record-breaking partnership to an end?

“We have seen this season that the only driver who has put him under pressure is his teammate Valtteri Bottas, so why give up that advantage?

“What I can see happening is Lewis doing one more year with Mercedes, winning that record-breaking 8th title, and then retiring.”

“I can’t see him following Fernando Alonso in trying to win the triple crown and competing in Le Mans, Dakar and the Indy 500. I also can’t see him going to Ferrari like so many champions before him.”

“What drives Lewis on, race after race, season after season, is an unmatched competitive spirit – and if the car is not performing to his expectations, it could quickly turn into a nightmare.”

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