A new series for Hamilton? 'Everything after Formula 1 seems boring'

A new series for Hamilton? 'Everything after Formula 1 seems boring'

16-05-2023 17:00

Ludo van Denderen

Lewis Hamilton has (still) not signed a new contract with Mercedes in the run-up to the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna. The seven-time world champion recently announced that he would like to try a different class after his departure from Formula 1. IndyCar, NASCAR and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) are undoubtedly eager to see Hamilton come.

As Haas F1's test and reserve driver, Pietro Fittipaldi regularly encounters Hamilton in the F1 paddock. The two-time Grand Prix driver, himself active in the LMP2 class in the WEC and in the past in IndyCar and DTM, still considers Hamilton one of the best men on the F1 grid. "If Lewis one day wants to move on from Formula 1, then for sure to be racing in WEC, like Alonso was doing a few years ago, I think he would definitely enjoy it", Fittipaldi responded in conversation with GPblog.

"Yes, I think he would [that he would fit into WEC]. If you're a racer and you enjoy racing, endurance racing is awesome. But some guys after so many years in F1, all the travelling and everything,  maybe they don't want to race anymore. They stop. So I think it's more like a personal thing", states Fittipaldi.

'The planet revolves around you'

Quitting is certainly not what Jacques Villeneuve is doing. Only at 52, the 1997 Formula 1 world champion started his first, full season in WEC. He also had stints in IndyCar, Formula E and NASCAR. "It's hard to fit for anything right after F1. Because everything seems dull after F1", Villeneuve told GPblog"You need a few years at home getting bored and realising how special racing is. That there's something else than F1. But when you're in F1, you're in the centre and you think the world, the planet revolves around you. And everything else has no value."

Passionate or not?

This is why Villeneuve advises Hamilton: "So you need a little break. Because not every driver is actually passionate about racing and driving. A lot of drivers are passionate only about F1. And the limelight of what F1 brings, look at Nico Rosberg. He obviously wasn't passionate about racing. He wouldn't be happy to have retired. So every driver is different. Lewis seems to be passionate about driving, but until a driver is out of F1, you don't know. You really don't realise. Alonso was obviously passionate because he's just never stopped. It's something he needs, whether it's in F1,  Dakar or whatever. I think obviously he's passionate about racing, not just F1. Until a driver leaves F1, you just don't know." 

Should a driver like Hamilton opt for endurance racing, it would give an extra boost to the class. "For sure, I mean you can’t doubt having a name like Lewis to come and what he has done in motorsport," said Paul di Resta; former F1 driver, pundit and currently racing for Peugeot in WEC. He won the DTM-championship in 2010. "Lewis has a lot of racing left in him for sure, if you look what Fernando is doing in the age, it’s really a number."

Part of the furniture at Mercedes

"But Lewis is in a different place, he is still going for his eight world title, he is still racing at the best of his ability. And I guess from a fan’s point of view you want to see the Hamilton-Verstappen-Alonso-Leclerc wheel-to-wheel racing, because they still have something to give. I’m obviously not in Lewis’ position, but he’s been really much part of Mercedes-Benz and the furniture and I guess that will continue for a very long time because the appreciation I think on both sides. It would be interesting to have any name like that. I guess the other thing that the paycheck is not the same. (WEC) is nowhere near Formula 1. I can’t see how it would be on Lewis’ radar at the moment", Di Resta concludes.