Lewis Hamilton retirement prediction as Trevor Carlin names three possible future F1 kings

Lewis Hamilton’s eventual retirement from F1 will open the door for Lando Norris, Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc to ascend to the throne. That’s the verdict of motorsport legend Trevor Carlin, who played a key role in McLaren driver Norris reaching the top level of motorsport.

Hamilton is in captivating form this season and goes into this weekend’s British Grand Prix off the back of consecutive wins in Austria and Hungary.

The 35-year-old is favourite to wrap up a seventh career win at Silverstone – which would take him to within four victories of Michael Schumacher’s record haul of 91.

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Hamilton is expected to go on and surpass Schumacher’s achievements before he decides to quit F1 and pass on his crown.

And Carlin – who gave drives to Norris, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo during their fledgling careers – thinks three men are ready and waiting to become the new king of F1.

“Because of the age difference there’s no issue [for Norris] at all,” Carlin told Sky Sports F1. “I think for Lando he thinks it’s great because Lewis is going to [retire from F1] soon.

“‘I don’t have to beat him, I can beat him every now and then in the next couple of years, but in three or four years time Lewis will be gone and all of a sudden the competition’… Lando, Max and Charles will be the drivers [to beat].

“The best guys eventually retire and fall off the end and the youngsters are coming up.”

Carlin compares the tenacious Norris to a “lamb” off the track but says he’s a “lion” when he’s behind the wheel.

“He just wants to win,” Carlin said. “But he’s pragmatic, sensible and calm. He’s just got ‘it’.”

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Carlin is also a big fan of Red Bull’s Verstappen, who he admits immediately made an impression on him.

“I’ve been doing this quite a long time and I’ve seen a lot of motor racing,” Carlin said. “It’s not just the drivers who have driven for us – Max Verstappen never drove for us but I saw him testing in Valencia when he’d come straight from karting and we were timing him and thought that’s not possible.

“Ultimately we realised what he was doing was real. I remember talking to someone the next day and I said if you can, put some money on this kid because he’s going to be world champion one day! And he will be, it’s only a matter of time.

“You have a gut feeling. It’s not scientific. People, like myself, they know talent when they see it. They always deliver the results.”

Practice for the British Grand Prix starts on Friday morning, with qualifying scheduled to take place on Saturday.

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