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Will Lewis Hamilton Ever Get Another Shot at Becoming World Champion?

Everything was going according to the script. Lewis Hamilton won at Interlagos setting up a final race decider against the upstart Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. He overtook his pole-sitting title rival into the first corner, successfully negated an assault from the Flying Dutchman’s teammate Sergio Perez and was on course to cement himself as the greatest driver of all time. We all know what happened next.

Nicholas Latifi slammed it into the wall. The safety car came out. Race director Michael Masi made a controversial decision that later cost him his job. And before you knew it, it was instead Verstappen who cemented his legacy and became the new king of Formula One.

In the two years since Abu Dhabi 2021, the British driver has barely had a sniff of victory. Last season was the first in his 15-year career in which he finished the campaign without a win and this season has hardly been any better. Meanwhile, Verstappen had a record-breaking campaign last season as he romped to a second consecutive world championship, and he has won ten of 12 Grand Prix so far this term.

In fact, such has been Super Max’s dominance, Canada sports betting sites aren’t even offering odds on Red Bull’s main man, making it three on the spin this season. Instead, they are only accepting bets on the “Without Verstappen” market, a market in which Hamilton is the +275 second favorite to win. But finishing second to his brash young nemesis isn’t how the Stevenage-born star wants to bow out.

A Career of Excellence

Ever since his debut in the sport back in Formula One, Hamilton has only ever known one thing. Being the best. In his debut campaign, he came within a whisker of becoming the first rookie in history to win the world championship, narrowly missing out to Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen but successfully defeating teammate and back-to-back world champion Fernando Alonso.

He would right that wrong the following year, memorably overtaking Timo Glock on the final corner of the final lap of the final race of the season in Brazil to snatch the title away from home favourite Felipe Massa. He would have to wait a further six years for another title, but his bold decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes proved to be an inspired one. Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson likened that move to leaving Manchester United for West Ham in footballing terms, but how wrong he was.

Hamilton won six titles in seven years with the Silver Arrows between 2014 and 2020, matching Michael Schumacher’s record of seven overall. And it may well have been a clean sweep had Nico Rosberg not pipped him to the crown in 2016. The 38-year-old looked on course to hold that record outright but it was ripped away from him in 2021, and he hasn’t had a sniff since.

So, Will There Be Another Opportunity?

Well both Hamilton himself and Mercedes head honcho Toto Wolff certainly seem to think so. The consensus GOAT of Formula One has stated repeatedly throughout the course of the current campaign that he still has a lot left in the tank, and the aforementioned Austrian team principal is confident of providing his lead driver with the car to do it. But if he is to claim that coveted eighth crown, he will certainly need his Mercedes team to improve, both on track and on the pit wall.

Last season, the Silver Arrows started the season a second per lap off the pace off the grid leading Ferraris and Red Bulls. They managed to narrow that gap and eventually were in contention for race victories, however, poor strategic decisions cost them massively. Luck also evaded Hamilton, with untimely safety cars robbing him of victory in both Great Britain and the Netherlands. To make matters worse, his new young teammate George Russell managed to secure victory at Hamilton’s expense in Brazil.

This season, however, a win has never looked likely. The Red Bulls have been head and shoulders clear of the rest of the grid, with many likening everything but those angry bulls basically Formula 2 cars in comparison. They have won every race so far this term, with Verstappen standing on the top step ten times and his teammate Sergio Perez twice. Mercedes certainly have their work cut out to close the gap and get Hamilton in with the hope of ending his career as the greatest of all time.

How Long Will Hamilton Continue Racing?

Throughout this season, the rumour has been that Lewis Hamilton will sign a bumper new two-year deal with Mercedes. However, the rumour mill has also been claiming that he could very well be off to Maranello to join Charles Leclerc at the Scuderia. Christian Horner has also long been an admirer of his countryman’s talents, however pairing him in the same team as Verstappen, no matter how blockbuster it would be, could well be a disaster.

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