Former Formula 1 racer Marc Surer has tipped Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2023 if Mercedes’ B-spec car doesn’t put him into championship contention.
The Brit’s contract at Mercedes will expire at the end of 2023, and he is reportedly hesitant to sign a new contract until the Silver Arrows’ W14 becomes more competitive.
At the moment, based on the opening three races of the season, it seems the W14 is the third or fourth most competitive car on the grid.
Speaking to London Insider on Monday, Surer – who raced for the likes of Arrows and Brabham – said that he believes Hamilton will wait to see how well Mercedes develop the W14 before making a decision on his future.
“He will wait for the B version of the Mercedes to see if they can catch up with Red Bull,” he said.
Asked if he could see Hamilton joining a rival team next year, Surer said he believes he would simply retire from the sport if Mercedes cannot provide him with a championship-winning car.
“No, I do not see him in another team so late in his career. Remember when he joined McLaren [in 2007] it was the Mercedes works team.
“If he cannot see a possibility to win his eight championship with his team, he will retire,” he added.
Mercedes are set to bring a significant upgrade package to Imola, and this should provide an indication of how quickly the team can close up to Red Bull.
Last month, Mercedes refused to address reports that Hamilton would be delaying his decision on his future with the team until at least August.