Sir Jackie Stewart calls on Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula 1

Sir Jackie Stewart calls on Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula 1

Sir Jackie Stewart tells Lewis Hamilton to retire - GETTY IMAGES

Sir Jackie Stewart tells Lewis Hamilton to retire – GETTY IMAGES

Sir Jackie Stewart has urged Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula One to protect his legacy, adding it was a “too bad” the seven-time world champion hadn’t gone to the top and suggested Hamilton step up instead to focus on the fashion industry.

Stewart, 83, has been critical of Hamilton in the past and his recent comments are likely to irritate the 37-year-old, who recently rebuked those who questioned his involvement with Mercedes.

Despite a difficult start to the 2022 season after a long period of dominance, Hamilton said it was “not in his DNA” to quit and insisted he was “100 per cent” committed to getting the Brackley team back at the top bring to.

However, Stewart believes Hamilton should have already retired. “He did very well,” Stewart said on The Convex Conversation podcast. “He came from humble beginnings. His dad worked four or five jobs to pay for his karting before Ron Dennis picked him up because he was so good at karting and took him to McLaren and got him victory in the Grands Prix. He’s very talented.

“And when it came time to leave McLaren it was his decision, not Ron Dennis’s, it was Lewis Hamilton’s decision to go to Mercedes-Benz because he saw the potential. And now he’s won eight [seven, sic] World Championship.

“But still he is struggling a bit now because he has a new teammate [George Russell] who has been faster than him in qualifying so far this year, which will be difficult for him to cope with.”

Stewart added: “I think it’s time for him to step down. He’s got music, he’s got culture, he loves clothes, and the rag trade would be perfect for him. I am sure that he will be very successful because he made a lot of money – rightly so because he was the best of his time. And that’s the best you can do. Juan Manuel Fangio, way back in the 1940s and 1950s, and [Tazio] Nuvolari and [Rudolf] Caracciola in the 1920s and 1930s, there’s always someone up there, whether it was Jim Clark in the 1960s…Juan Manuel was the smoothest, best I’ve ever seen, I carried him to his final resting place.

“[But] Lewis belongs in that group of the Ayrton Sennas and the Alain Prosts – or maybe even the Jackie Stewarts. He carried the sport very well. I want him to step down now. It’s a shame he didn’t step down at the top, but I don’t think that’s going to happen now. But still, it’s wiser to quit than to go through all the pain of not being able to do what you were doing before.”

Hamilton sits sixth in the championship after nine races of the 2022 season, 98 points behind leader Max Verstappen, although Mercedes were more competitive at the last race in Canada, where Hamilton finished third, their joint best result of the year.

In April, Hamilton said he was determined to turn the team’s season around. “Just because we’ve hit a rough patch, it’s just not in my DNA to back down,” he said. “We are still world champions and we can fix that. It’s just going to take longer, it’s going to be a painful year.

“I think ultimately this will be a painful year that we will have to get through together, with the belief that we can rectify it at some point, maybe later this year or even at worst, at least for next year.”

The season continues next week at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Hamilton’s home race.

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