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Hamilton opens up on post-F1 career options as he singles out preferred route

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Lewis Hamilton has offered some more insight into what his future might hold beyond the world of F1, admitting that he is most likely to focus on the film and fashion industries after retiring from the sport.

Hamilton, who recently turned 39, has raced in F1 since 2007, racking up a record-breaking 104 pole positions and 103 Grand Prix wins, and a record-equalling seven world titles, across lengthy stints with McLaren and Mercedes.

READ MORE: Hamilton certain Mercedes will win another championship as he outlines ‘challenge’ ahead at Ferrari

After agreeing a move to Ferrari for 2025 on a multi-year deal, Hamilton will add another chapter to his career and race on until at least his early 40s, but the Briton is also thinking about what could follow when he eventually steps out of the cockpit.

In a wide-ranging interview with GQ Magazine, Hamilton shared why other interests have become so important to him alongside his racing career, how they have helped him perform on-track and his plans for the long-term.

“When I first got into Formula 1, it was wake up, train, racing-racing-racing-racing, nothing else,” said Hamilton. “There’s no space for anything else. But what I realised is that just working all the time doesn’t bring you happiness, and you need to find a balance in life. And I found out that I was actually quite unhappy.

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Hamilton has shared his thinking when it comes to balancing F1 with other interests

“There was so much missing, there was so much more to me. And it was crazy, because I was like: I’m in Formula 1, I reached my dream, and I’m where I always wanted to be, I’m on top, I’m fighting for the championship. But I was just not – it was not enjoyable.”

He continued: “It’s almost like being in a snowglobe – that’s the racing world. And there’s so much more outside of it that you just don’t have time to explore. I think if you go to an office every day and do the same process every single day, eventually you just zone out. You have to find something else that can soothe you, can keep your mind going.”

READ MORE: Hamilton hails four-time champion Vettel as ‘an amazing option’ for Mercedes in 2025

Meanwhile, Hamilton revealed what top-level athletes from a range of other sports such as tennis and basketball have told him when it comes to retiring at the right time and having suitable projects to fill the void.

“I’d spoken to so many amazing athletes, from Boris Becker to Serena Williams, even Michael Jordan,” he commented. “Talking to greats that I’ve met along the way, who are retired – or some that are still in competition – and the fear of what’s next, the lack of preparation for what’s next.

“A lot of them said: ‘I stopped too early.’ Or: ‘Stayed too long’. ‘When it ended, I didn’t have anything planned’. ‘My whole world came crashing down because my whole life has been about that sport’.

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“Some of them were like: ‘I didn’t plan and it was a bit of a mess-up because I was really lost afterwards. There was such a hole. Such a void. And I had no idea how I was going to fill it. And I was in such a rush initially to try and fill it that you fill it with the wrong thing. And you make a few mistakes. And then eventually you find your way’.

“Some people took longer. Some people took shorter. But it just got my mind thinking about: OK, when I stop, how do I avoid that? And so I got serious about finding other things that I was passionate about.”

READ MORE: An inspired decision or risky move? Our writers give their take on Hamilton’s shock Ferrari switch

As for the passions that will take over when he steps away from F1, while he “wants to do everything”, Hamilton pointed to film and fashion being the focus areas, having recently set up his own production company, Dawn Apollo Films, and worked on collections with legendary designer Tommy Hilfiger.

“I’m very ambitious,” he said. “But I understand that you can’t do – actually, I take that back because I don’t believe in the word can’t. To be a master at something, there’s the 10,000 hours it takes. Obviously, I’ve done that in racing. There’s not enough time to master all of these different things.”

Indeed, Hamilton and his company are working with F1 and Apple Original Films on an upcoming, untitled movie about the sport, with Brad Pitt starring in one of the lead roles, Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick) directing and Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman (Top Gun: Maverick and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) serving as producers.

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