F1 2022: Sir Jackie Stewart says it is time for Lewis Hamilton to retire, Mercedes, George Russell

Lewis Hamilton is enduring a disappointing season and an F1 legend believes he should have retired earlier and needs to quit the sport.

Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart has urged Lewis Hamilton to retire and said he was a “pity” he didn’t quit the sport when he was at the very top of his game.

Hamilton fell agonizingly short of a record breaking eighth world title last year but hasd this season as Mercedes adapts to an era of new regulations.

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After nine races, the Brit is sixth in the drivers’ standings, 98 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen and 34 points adrift of his Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Stewart, who won three F1 world championships in the 1960s and 70s, believes the time is right for Hamilton to hang up his helmet and focus on other endeavors.

“He is very talented, right from the beginning,” Stewart told the Convex Conversation podcast.

“He has now won is it eight world championships? Seven or eight. He is now struggling because he has a teammate who is quicker than him in qualifying which is going to be difficult for him to handle.

“But I think it is time for him to retire. He’s got music, he’s got culture, he loves clothing and the rag trade would be absolutely suitable for him.

“I’m sure he’ll be very successful because he’s been earning a huge amount of money — rightfully so because he’s been the best of his time. And that’s the best you can do.”

Stewart said Hamilton is already an all-time great of F1 and believes he should withdraw soon before his performances further decline.

“Lewis is in that group of the Ayrton Sennas and the Alain Prosts — or even the Jackie Stewarts maybe,” Stewart said.

“He has carried the sport very well.

“I would like to see him resigning now.

“It’s a pity he wasn’t resigning at the top but I don’t think that’s going to happen now.

“But nevertheless it’s wiser to stop than go through all the pain of not being able to do what you did before.”

Hamilton has behind finished Russell in seven of the nine races so far this season, and has complained about the porpoising, or bouncing on his car.

Russell is the only driver on the grid to score championship points in every race this season and he said he has learned plenty from being Hamilton’s teammate.

“There is definitely room to improve in certain areas and I think obviously in a really privileged position being teammates with Lewis and learning so much from him – how he works, how he goes about his business with his engineers, how he gets sort of the whole team motivated – it’s quite inspiring to see,” Russell told the F1 website.

“Also on the technical side, he’s pretty impressive, which a lot of people probably won’t recognize or appreciate.

“Definitely room to improve but I think in terms of results it’s been fine. I don’t think we could have probably achieved much higher results when I look at the season rationally. “Probably other than Bahrain, we’ve probably finished as high as we could in every single race.”

The F1 season continues with Hamilton and Russell’s home race, the British Grand Prix, on Monday 4 July (AEST).

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