Lewis Hamilton may not be at Mercedes at the end of the season, according to 1996 champion Jacques Villeneuve. The former Williams star claimed Hamilton may be ‘unable to deal’ with no longer winning races.
Villeneuve added the Briton could be ‘down and depressed’ and may decide he doesn’t need racing anymore. The Canadian made the stunning comments on his Formel1.NL column after Hamilton’s poor result at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
He said: “And will Hamilton still be there in two, three years? Will he even reach the end of this season?
“You can’t see into someone’s head; you can be down and depressed or you can be unable to deal with no longer winning. Then maybe it’s time to decide that life is better without racing. We’ve been surprised in the past: it’s happened that champions have sometimes just had enough.”
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“We just have to work hard to make sure we are not in this position next year.” Both Silver Arrows were knocked out in Q2 during qualifying at Imola which impacted their whole weekend.
Hamilton and George Russell were unable to make much progress during the sprint race with Hamilton stuck in the midfield during the Grand Prix on Sunday. He lost positions during the pitstop phase and was then stuck behind a DRS train to finish 13th.
It follows Hamilton’s 10th place finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix which leaves the Briton seventh in the points standings. He lies a massive 58 points behind title leader Charles Leclerc and 21 points behind team-mate Russell.