Lewis Hamilton accepts that he is in the twilight of his F1 career, but is hoping to fulfill his dream of bowing out on a high by winning an eighth Drivers' Championship. At the moment, the Brit ace's route to the title is being blocked by arch rival Max Verstappen, who has claimed back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022.

Hamilton had his eighth title in sight in 2021 before a controversial ruling saw Verstappen take advantage and clinch his maiden championship at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman added a second with a dominant performance in 2022, and remains the favourite for a third in 2023.

The British racer will need a major turnaround from his Mercedes team after struggling for most of the 2022 campaign. It was the first time in Hamilton's F1 career that he failed to win a race for an entire season. The Silver Arrows' only win came at the hands of teammate George Russell.

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the world championship in Japan with his Red Bull teammates
Max Verstappen celebrates winning the world championship in Japan with his Red Bull teammates AFP News

Mercedes are expected to return to title contention in 2023, but doubts remain about their ability to close the gap to Red Bull, who left the field trailing in 2022. Hamilton remains keen to stay in F1 beyond his current contract, and is hoping when the time does come to call time on his career, he can do so with a title.

"I think retiring as a world champion is a dream that every athlete has – and so do I," Hamilton told Sport BILD.

Meanwhile, Hamilton explained that while F1 occupies a major part of his daily life, it is not his main focus at the moment. The Briton is keen to prioritise family time and "make memories" with his loved ones, while also paying attention to his interests away from the track.

"Motorsport isn't the most important thing for me either. When I was a kid maybe it was. Probably also when I got into Formula 1," Hamilton added.

"It's about key memories with the people who mean the most to you. That's what I focus on and plan things to create those moments, because that's what you take with you in the long run."

Lewis Hamilton
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was named as an investor in the new ownership group of the NFL's Denver Broncos AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON