Lewis Hamilton reckons at “about 37” he’ll retire from Formula 1 racing as he doesn’t want to be the stumbling block for the next generation.
Last month, in Hamilton’s ninth season in the sport, he wrapped up his third World title as he took the chequered flag in Austin in what his 10th win of the campaign.
And although three titles was always Hamilton’s ambition as it equals Ayrton Senna’s tally, the 30-year-old could still add several more as he intends being in F1 for another seven years.
However, hanging around beyond his 37th birthday is not a thought that the the Mercedes driver is willing to entertain as he feels that would be the right time to step aside to make space for a young driver wanting to book his place on the grid.
“When I think about what year I would probably end up stopping, it’d be about 37 maybe,” Hamilton told 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell during an interview for Sky Sports F1.
“I remember watching Michael [Schumacher]. He’d won everything and dominated everyone by a million miles and he kept going and going because he loved it.
“But I’m conscious that there’s only 20 of us, 20 seats, and knowing just how it went when I got to Formula 1… [Juan Pablo] Montoya pretty much got fired, he left, there was a seat available and that was one more opportunity for another youngster to come in.
“I want to enjoy my period of time because I think I’ve earned it here, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome because I know that every year that I stay there’s one young kid who may have had a chance to come through, but because I stayed his chance may have been missed.
“So at one point I’m going to be conscious of that.”
But while he remains in Formula 1, the Brit will continue to build brand ‘Hamilton’ as his foundation for the future.
“In the period of time now I’m trying to build a foundation for beyond Formula 1,” he said.
“A lot of the drivers are still involved in F1 when they get past [driving], but you see the likes of Niki [Lauda] did the airline, even Keke [Rosberg] did some business outside. Eddie Irvine did something outside.
“They created some kind of longevity elsewhere and that’s what I want to have because I love doing stuff outside of the sport.”