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David Coulthard: Lewis Hamilton could quit F1 mid-season

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Ex-McLaren and Red Bull driver David Coulthard believes that three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton could quit Formula 1 mid-season if he loses his passion for the sport.

Hamilton enters 2017 chasing a fourth title, and is the favorite for the drivers’ crown following ex-Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement last December, announced just five days after the German’s first championship win.

Hamilton has previously said that he is working on plans for a life away from F1 once he retires, enjoying a growing celebrity status and also working on music between races.

Speaking to the Daily Express newspaper in England, Coulthard – who spent two years on the grid with Hamilton before his retirement in 2008 – said he would not be surprised to see the Briton call it quits if he grew disillusioned with F1.

“It wouldn’t take much for him to say, for want of a better word, ‘f**k it, thank you, I’m off’,” Coulthard said.

“It could be sooner than we may all want. He’s got enough money to make those decisions.

“When things are working well you see the passion, you can see the little boy in the man. But when you see him being asked the same questions day in day out, you can see the eyes glaze over.

“And when that passion goes, you can fool the people but you can’t fool yourself.

“He could even go during the season.”

At 32, Hamilton is one of the oldest drivers racing in F1 currently, having made his debut 10 years ago in Australia.

Coulthard’s comments follow those of fellow racer-turned-pundit Damon Hill, who said earlier this week that Mercedes had to be willing to give Hamilton freedom, or risk losing him to a rival team.

The new F1 season begins on March 26 in Melbourne, Australia, with the race weekend being shown live across NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.

IMSA results, points, stats package after Sunday at Mid-Ohio

IMSA Mid-Ohio points results
IMSA
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Acura, Corvette and Lexus teams were the winners in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship points standings and results from Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Leading the way for the overall title were the DPi duo of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves. The Acura No. 7 drivers earned their third consecutive victory for Team Penske, which last won three straight sports car races during the 2007 American Le Mans Series.

Other class winners at the Lexington, Ohio, road course were the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia in GTLM and the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in GTD.

Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio:


RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: In the DPi division, the No. 10 Cadillac of Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande lead the points standings. No. 3 Corvette drivers Taylor and Garcia are tops in GTLM.

In GTD, the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry leads the points over Telitz and Hawksworth.

STATS PACKAGE FOR MID-OHIO:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Best sector times

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will race with its GT divisions Oct. 9-10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.