August 20, 2022

Lewis Hamilton has one of the most incredible streaks in Formula 1 history. It’s also a very threatened streak.

Even casual F1 fans know that Hamilton entered the 2022 season tied with Michael Schumacher at the top of the biggest list of them all with seven Formula 1 championships. The two are also tied at the top of what could be considered as an even more telling list – most consecutive F1 seasons with a win.

Hamilton has won at least one F1 race every year since 2007. Last year Hamilton went 15 consecutive years with at least one win to equal Schumacher’s mark set between 1992-2006. And, much like the record seven championships, the incredible record of 15 consecutive seasons with a winning mark is starting to look like a dead end.

The great Lewis Hamilton just doesn’t look like a winner in 2022. And with Formula 1 regulations not going to change significantly until 2026, the odds are increasing that Hamilton just won’t come back on the top step of the podium.

It may be time for Hamilton to gracefully leave the table. Maybe it’s time for him to cash in his chips and let the experts write his legacy. Let the scribes fight over the ages as to who had the better career between Hamilton and Schumacher, between Hamilton and Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton’s resume is going to be tough to beat: seven championships, 103 wins, 184 podiums, 103 poles. No one currently in the race touches them. Among active riders, Sebastian Vettel is next with 53 wins. The best driver on the planet right now, Max Verstappen, is 26.

There’s nothing wrong with Hamilton leaving.

Jackie Stewart, right, salutes Lewis Hamilton on the podium in Australia in 2015.

Anadolu AgencyGetty Images

Three-time Formula 1 champion Jackie Stewart agrees it might be time for Hamilton to call it a career.

“It’s time for him to quit. He’s got music, he’s got culture, he loves clothes, and the rag business would be a perfect fit for him,” Stewart, 83, told the Convex Conversation podcast. “I’m sure he will be very successful because he has made a lot of money – rightly because he was the best of his time. Lewis is in this group of Ayrton Sennas and Alain Prosts – or maybe even Jackie Stewarts.”

Stewart was one of those all-time greats who came out on top. He retired from Formula 1 after his 1973 championship. Stewart retired after a season in which he won five times and won his third championship in five years.

Stewart was just 34 when he left the sport. There were undoubtedly those who felt there was plenty left in the tank, plenty of opportunity to add to his own legacy.

Enough was enough, Stewart said.

Today Stewart says Hamilton, who managed just two third-place finishes in nine races to start the 2022 season, may have written the final chapter in terms of wins and championships.

“It’s a shame he didn’t quit at the top, but I don’t think that’s going to happen now,” Stewart said. “But nonetheless, it’s wiser to quit than to go through all the pain of not being able to do what you were doing before.”

No, Hamilton may not be able to win. But even tied for the top, it’s not that bad.

“He carried the sport well,” Stewart said. “I would like to see him resign now.”

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