Lewis Hamilton says he feels as ‘fresh and energised’ as he did five years ago and that he could probably reach 400 race starts if he wanted to.
The Mercedes ace sits sixth on the list of most races entered in Formula 1 but will move up to fourth by the end of this season, providing he competes in each race remaining, with him sitting on 304 with Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher both just a handful of races in front.
It’s just another big number in a career littered with records for Hamilton, though, and it sounds as though he does not have any particular intention of calling it a day just yet, with him turning 37 at the start of this calendar year.
Indeed, Formula 1 drivers appear to be lasting longer in terms of the length of their career, providing they still want to compete, with Fernando Alonso now in his 40s and showing no signs of stopping having signed a deal with Aston Martin for 2023 that could last three years.
He’ll pass the 400-race mark during that period if all goes to plan and will be the first to do so but may be joined relatively soon after by Hamilton, who has said that he could feasibly get to 400 based on how he feels within himself at the moment.
Speaking to Canal+, Hamilton said:
“As crazy as it is, 300 is such a huge number of races, yet I feel young and fresh. I still feel just as energised as I was five years ago.
“It’s just a number. I could go to 400 probably.”
Can Lewis Hamilton hit 400 races?
Of course, with things like nutrition and sports science improving all the time, the drivers are able to condition themselves better than ever before to cope with the demands of driving these modern F1 cars, whilst a season of over 20 races in a year also bumps up the race starts figure and makes it that bit easier to attain such a huge number than in the past, though that should be no slight on the likes of Hamilton and Alonso who have been stellar names year in, year out at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Ultimately, hitting 400 for Hamilton at least may come down to whether the car he has is still going to be mixing it right at the front. Mercedes haven’t been where they are used to this season but if it’s a blip and they’re back at it next season 400 could be a breeze for Lewis – winning only sweetens the deal.
Sebastian Vettel has shown a lack of competitive car right at the front can see interest in driving in F1 wane, though, and perhaps that is the only thing that could stop Hamilton right now from making it to an incredible landmark in the future.