Former Formula One driver turned pundit David Coulthard has stated that he anticipates Lewis Hamilton to become disinterested in Formula One as soon as mid-season in 2017.
The ex-McLaren and Red Bull driver had this to say about Lewis Hamilton:
“It wouldn’t take much for him to say, for want of a better word, ‘F–k it. Thank you, I’m off. When things are working well you see the passion, you can see the little boy in the man, but when you see him being asked the same questions day in day out, you can see the eyes glaze over.”
– David Coulthard
So Coulthard believes that the media environment in which the British driver has to engage with is driving him away from the sport, whilst on-track competitiveness remains the element that keeps him engaged. It’s difficult to determine from outside the Mercedes Formula One team, but the rivalry with Nico Rosberg last season appeared to be one of the most intense that Formula One has seen in a long time.
Hamilton and Rosberg were perpetually trapped in the scrutiny of the media eye, and the Brit was constantly having to amend his large personality and watch his tongue, anything that could have been taken to an extreme context and used against him was.
The reason Lewis Hamilton is in this position more so than most drivers is because his name in the title of an article or at the top of the back pages sells. It means that he’s in a position that must be difficult to work in outside of the car and as Coulthard alludes to, could be overbearing.
Rosberg claimed that his retirement was solely down to wanting to commit more to his young family, it will be interesting to see how many occasions the 2016 World Champion will be in the Mercedes garages this season, and this might shed more light on whether press scrutiny had its part to play.