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“Robust” F1 will survive if Hamilton retires

Hamilton only has a one-year deal with Mercedes, and inevitably there has been much speculation about him stepping away at the end of 2021, especially if he wins a record eighth F1 world championship.

Hamilton himself has insisted that he hasn’t made any decision, and that when he does, it would not be influenced by the outcome of this year’s title battle, which he is currently leading.

He has also recently been involved with Pirelli’s 18-inch tyre testing programme, and has talked with some enthusiasm about the challenge of the rule changes coming for 2022.

Asked in a call with Wall Street analysts about the potential impact of the retirement of F1’s biggest star, Domenicali insisted that F1 always moves on when top drivers stop racing.

“For sure Lewis Hamilton is a great asset,” said the Italian. “He is doing an incredible job on the sporting side in terms of image. He was able to grow F1 in other areas which were not really specifically related to F1.

“But F1 itself is strong, and drivers, champions, are always in a place where one day they may retire.

“I don’t know what Lewis is doing, we are talking with him, but of course, now he’s focused on his actual season, he is fully boosted to make sure that he’ll be the only driver that is going to win eight titles in the history of F1.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, lifts his trophy

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“But you know, F1 is solid, robust, and for sure, whatever will be the decision of Lewis, F1 will react and move forward. The good news is that if Lewis, as we all hope, will stay, he will have an incredible season in front of him with the new cars, with a new challenge. And for sure, this may be very interesting for him.

“If he will decide a different way around, the good news is that in F1 we have so many good drivers today that are at least the challenge, the chance, and will be even stronger. Therefore, of course, whatever will be the decision of Lewis, we will respect it. But F1 is really solid and strong.”

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