Lewis Hamilton insists being challenged by the emerging generation of talent in Formula 1 does not provide him with any extra motivation to extend his career.
The past six races have seen two victories apiece for Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, with the Ferrari youngster winning in Spa and Monza despite pressure from the championship leader. Although he now faces a threat from a pair of 21-year-olds, Hamilton says the only motivation he takes is from having competition for victories regardless of the age of his rivals.
“It doesn’t do anything to extend my career, I don’t look at it that way but I do love the challenge from whoever it is,” Hamilton said. “While they are younger, I think I am still fresh and young and that I am racing pretty well. That may change in a short period of time, who knows? Who knows what trajectory I am on in my age. There is a curve, when the gut starts coming and the gray hair starts coming but I am a little bit away from that.”
Ferrari’s two victories in Spa and Monza came on circuits that suited its car’s characteristics, but Hamilton says he wants to see more close battles in the coming races even if Mercedes should be more competitive compared to the Scuderia in Singapore this weekend.
“I don’t feel that. I am not looking forward to the next race thinking it will swing our way. I go to the factory and do the same process, hope we can improve our car and improve our methods and do a better job.
“I hope I can do a better job in the next race and if they are as competitive then great. I hope that it is competitive between us, Red Bull and Ferrari. I want this battle to continue — more opportunities like that would be great.”
Although he has only won one of the past four races, Hamilton’s lead in the drivers’ championship has extended to 63 points, with just 51 points covering the battle for second place between Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.