SunSport’s Ben Hunt believes the Brit is driving better than ever but has opened his eyes to a life outside the sport
LEWIS HAMILTON has faced speculation about his future for the past five years.
Originally, he was always fairly dismissive of the idea of a life away from Formula One because, after all, the sport was the only thing he knew.
However, his latest threat that he could be nearing the chequered flag of his career, should be taken extremely seriously.
In the past four and a half years at Mercedes, he has amassed a considerable fortune.
He has also been allowed the breathing space to do whatever he likes, within reason.
A perfect example of this came last week when he loaded up his private jet and flew a group of friends to Mykonos to party instead of taking place in an F1 parade in the capital.
During his time at McLaren, he would never have been allowed to do that, for there would have been a three-line whip from Ron Dennis telling him to attend.
Mercedes’s finances and their freedom is commendable.
Hamilton is driving better than ever as his victory at Silverstone showed, but it has also allowed him to do some much needed soul-searching.
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After a stifled childhood ruled by the racetrack, he is doing his growing up and self-discovery in the public eye.
His position as a successful F1 driver has opened doors and he is experiencing other ways of life. He has rediscovered his love of music and a passion for fashion.
Slowly, Hamilton has realised there IS a life outside of Formula One, and he seems to like it.
For the past few years he’s been trying to plan for his future and wants to find something that will give him the same satisfaction as winning an F1 race. That’s been the tricky bit.
He’s still only 32, and has at least another six at the top, providing he wants to stay there.
However, he saw his rival team-mate Nico Rosberg bail out at the very top last winter, and I for one would not be surprised to see Hamilton do the same.
He could by then be a four-time world champion, eclipsing the record of Ayrton Senna — something that he set out to do when he was a child.
He is already Britain’s most successful F1 driver and it’s not as if the money in the bank is going to be a problem.
It just depends on whether he has finally found that something else to do in his life, for he’s not the type of person just to kick back and spend his time sitting on the beach.
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