Hamilton expects to retire from F1 in five or six years’ time

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Lewis Hamilton expects to retire from Formula 1 in five or six years’ time before moving on to a new challenge.

Hamilton, 31, is one of the most decorated drivers in the history of the sport, having won 47 races and three world championships since making his debut back in 2007.

The Briton signed a new contract with Mercedes last year taking him to the end of the 2018 season, after which he expects to continue in F1 for another three or four years before retiring.

“I try and think to myself ‘what’s your five year plan’ and try and set out to do it. You don’t always hit all the goals, but I try to,” Hamilton said in a Facebook Q&A session with UBS.

“I think right now, I’ve obviously just signed for another three years with Mercedes including this year. After that, I see myself staying for another three years probably, three or four years, then I’m going to stop.

“I don’t have a particular desire to go on forever. At 37, I’ll still be relatively young I would say, and so I want to be challenged by something else.

“But I think also every year your opinions and your views on things evolve. So who knows what I’m going to be thinking in seven years’ time.”

Hamilton said that the length of his career will not be defined by chasing records, with Michael Schumacher’s benchmark of 91 grand prix victories still some way off.

“I want to be as great as I can be. I don’t believe being as great as I can be is defined by someone else’s record,” Hamilton said.

“I honestly don’t see that. It’s about doing what you love and maximizing it in the time that you wish to participate in it.

“Even if I’m only here for another two more years, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. Even if I was to stop right now, I could look back and say ‘jeez, I’ve learned a lot’. I’ve had an amazing journey.

“There’s not one moment I regret, there’s not one moment I wish I could change, because that’s what got me to where I am today, regardless if you’ve hit someone’s records.”