Lewis Hamilton: I won't over-stay my welcome in Formula One

13 Mar 2016 14:23

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton insists he will not out-stay his welcome in the sport.

The 31-year-old has admitted on the eve of the new season that he does not see himself still doing what he is doing in a decade's time, and will eventually step aside to allow new talent to live the dream which has brought him three world titles to date.

Asked if he would continue for another 10 years, the Brit told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "I don't have plans to go that long, but I love what I do.

"Honestly, it could be less, it could be more, who knows? Really as long as I keep enjoying it....

"There are only 22 of us that do it. Michael Schumacher potentially stayed maybe a little bit too long. When one driver stays, that means there's one less opportunity for others who might just be in the right moment to be able to step through.

"Every year I stay beyond, you over-stay your welcome because perhaps you are blocking the potential of another kid who was just ready to come through, so I want to be cautious of that.

"But as long as I am enjoying it and performing at my best, then I'll keep going. But I was thinking this morning, I feel like I can go on and on and on, personally.

"Hopefully within 10 years, and then I am going to move on and do something else and let someone else come and do it."

Mercedes driver Hamilton will set off in pursuit of a third successive championship success in Melbourne next week, and he will do so taking nothing for granted.

He said: "Coming into this year, I really feel like it's a clean slate. When I arrive at the track, I don't feel like I'm world champion - that's why I have number 44 on my car and not number one.

"I'm 44, the same as I was when I first started racing. I was here to beat everyone and that's how I'm going into the first race."