SIR LEWIS HAMILTON has dropped a clue as to when he might retire after Sebastian Vettel called it a day.
The German’s imminent retirement hasn’t made Hamilton, 37, contemplate his own future.
In fact the Stevenage speedster, who is well aware that Father Time is no longer on his side, hinted he will outlast his long-term rivals
He said: “It’s a reminder that I’m in that part of my career that people that I came up with, and have raced with for so long, will start to stop.
“Before you know it, Fernando [Alonso] will not be here and then… who is there after that?
“I’ll be the oldest. But no, it’s not made me think about that.”
Alonso is the oldest driver on the grid after turning 41 today, with Hamilton behind him at 37.
When Vettel retires, the next oldest driver will be Daniel Ricciardo at 33.
Hamilton’s current focus is on ending Mercedes’ woeful season with a win.
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The seven-time champ said: “Honestly, I’m thinking about how I can improve this car.
“I’m thinking about what the steps are that I need to take to get this team winning again, what is the roadmap to winning another World Championship.
“[I’m thinking] what are the steps that we need to have everyone aligned in this sport to do more to start truly reflecting the work that we are trying to do in terms of diversity. I’m thinking of all of those things.
“When I talk about fuel left in the tank, I’m still fighting for all of those things and I still feel I’ve got plenty to go with that.
“More likely than not, when I stop, I will still have fuel in the tank.
“I don’t think I will go until I’m completely burnt out and have nothing left but hopefully that’s a while off.”
Hamilton paid a heartwarming tribute to Vettel after learning of his plans to walk away from the sport.
Alongside a picture of himself and Vettel, Hamilton wrote: “Seb, it’s been an honour to call you a competitor and an even greater honour to call you my friend.
“Leaving this sport better than you found it is always the goal.
“I have no doubt that whatever comes next for you will be exciting, meaningful, and rewarding. Love you, man.”
The F1 season continues this weekend with the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring.