Former Formula One driver David Coulthard believes that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton could quit the sport mid-season if he loses his passion for it.
After losing out on the title in 2016 to former teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton enters the 2017 season chasing his fourth title.
Outside of F1, Hamilton has stated that he is forming plans after he retires from the sport, including building a celebrity status and working on music.
Coulthard spent two years on the grid with Hamilton before his retirement in 2008, and reported that he would be shocked if the three-time World Champion quit mid-season.
“It wouldn’t take much for him to say, for want of a better word, ‘f**k it, thank you, I’m off’“, Coulthard spoke to the Daily Express.
“It could be sooner than we may all want. He’s got enough money to make those decisions.
“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.
“And when that passion goes, you can fool the people but you can’t fool yourself.
“He could even go during the season.
These comments follow similar ones made by former World Champion Damon Hill, who stated that Mercedes need to be willing to give Hamilton more freedom, or they run the risk of losing him.