SIR JACKIE STEWART says the time has come for Lewis Hamilton to retire from Formula One.
The Mercedes driver, 37, is experiencing the toughest season of his 15-year career after going ten consecutive races without a win.
And after being 98 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen ahead of next week’s British GP, three-time F1 champ Stewart said: “It’s time for him to resign.
“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.”
Hamilton was on the verge of retiring last season after being left “disillusioned” with the sport after being cruelly denied a record eighth world championship.
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Race director Michael Masi – who has since been sacked – controversial handling of a late safety car allowed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to overtake the Mercedes man on the final lap of the final race to snatch the title.
The Stevenage-born star has struggled for pace this year with new team-mate George Russell finishing above him in seven of the opening nine races.
But despite claiming his second podium of the season last time out in Canada, fellow Brit Stewart believes Hamilton should quit racing now to keep his legacy intact.
The 83-year-old told The Convex Conversation podcast: “It was Lewis’ decision – to go to Mercedes and he has won six world championships since then.
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“He’s now struggling a little bit because he’s had a new teammate who’s been quicker than him in qualifying so far, which is gonna be difficult for him to handle.
“Lewis is in that group of the Ayrton Sennas and the Alain Prosts or even the Jackie Stewarts maybe.
“It’s a pity he wasn’t resigning at the top but I don’t think that’s gonna 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.
“He’s carried the sport very well. I would like to see him resigning now.”
Jackie Stewart, pictured with Hamilton in 2019, reckons the Merc man’s time is up