Lewis Hamilton will know when the time is right to quit Formula One says David Coulthard who has suggested the Mercedes star could even retire midway through the season. Hamilton is favourite to win his record-breaking eighth world championship this year. The 36-year-old signed a one-year contract extension at Mercedes in February to end speculation over his future in the sport.
Hamilton and Mercedes struggled at testing in Bahrain last week ahead of the start of the new season.
The seven-time world champion admitted his frustration at his new car.
Coulthard thinks Hamilton would not have signed a new contract if his heart was not set on continuing to race.
But the Scot thinks there will come a time, potentially in a similar way to when James Hunt retired mid-season in 1979, where Hamilton will suddenly decide to call it a day.
“If he truly believed it was time [to quit now], he would not have been in Bahrain for pre-season testing,” Coulthard told The Sun.
“I think he has got inner peace and if he had that feeling, we would have had that announcement he was leaving.
“But when he does decide that’s it, I don’t believe he will drive one more lap in a racing car. I very much doubt you will see him rocking up at Le Mans or anything like that.
“You know when to quit when you wake up one day, or even after a lap. Niki Lauda who knew during a lap in Canada, or James Hunt, who walked away midseason.”