Lewis Hamilton may be the third-oldest driver on the Formula 1 grid but he insists he relishes the challenge of facing his young and talented rivals.
The five-time world champion and 2019 title leader wants to carry on proving himself against the likes of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris. Hamilton was asked during a Q&A ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend if he has any plans to retire and was unequivocal in his response.
“Hopefully no time soon,” Hamilton responded. “I love the challenge of trying to keep these young’uns behind me. I’m excited for the youngsters coming through, seeing what they bring and seeing if I can compete with them.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner this week described Verstappen as “the best driver in the world” over the past 12 months, insisting he’d have Hamilton’s measure if they were in the same car.
The 21-year-old Dutchman has a bright future but Hamilton, now 34-years-old, wasn’t willing to make any direct comparisons, though he did have praise for Verstappen.
“I don’t compare myself to anybody, I don’t need to,” said Hamilton. “I don’t really have an answer to his claims. Ultimately every now and then somebody needs certain attention…”
“I think Max has been doing a great job and he’s really, really exciting to watch,” added Hamilton. “I think the last race was really fantastic. It’ll be interesting to see how they do moving forwards.”
Hamilton is 1.53 to win this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with Verstappen priced at 9.00.