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Does Broncos' ownership stake signal the end for Hamilton?

NEWS STORY
10/08/2022

Lewis Hamilton has dropped the biggest hint that his Formula One career could be coming to an end.

Hamilton became a minority owner of the Denver Broncos, in a move that has perhaps hinted that is ready to close the chapter of his sporting career and shift into the world of business.

The Broncos were taken over by the Walton-Penner group in a deal worth 3.81bn ($4.65bn), and it is known how much of a stake Hamilton has secured in the NFL franchise. He already has a great relationship with quarterback Russell Wilson, who was acquired by the Broncos in the NFL off-season. The friendship between the pair could be a vital cog in the Broncos' bid to return to the NFL summit.

Hamilton's own form on the track has taken a downturn, but if it is to be his swansong, he will be determined to bow out on a high note. Hamilton has odds of 6/1 to win the Belgian Grand Prix, which does provide value for those who bet on sports. He has improved gradually over the course of the 2022 season and should be a top contender in the betting tips to register his first win of the term.

It has been a difficult season for Hamilton and not the one he would have hoped for after his excruciating defeat in the final race and the last lap of the last campaign. The Brit would have been ready to avenge his loss in Abu Dhabi on the final lap, but his Mercedes has not been up to the standard compared to his rivals in the field. It was evident from the off in Bahrain that the 2022 season was going to be a lot like his maiden season with Mercedes, where he was chasing Sebastian Vettel throughout the term. Hamilton endured a seven-race stretch without finishing in the top three, the second longest drought of his career.

You have to go back to the 2009 season to find a similar period of struggle when the Brit failed to record a podium in nine races when with McLaren. His frustration was clear to see, especially for a driver that has been synonymous with success since 2014. Mercedes and Hamilton turned the corner at the Canadian Grand Prix by finishing in third, and he has since reeled off five podium finishes in a row to drag himself towards a respectable score in the Drivers' Championship standings, although it would require something very special indeed for him to close the gap on the top spot.

There is just one box that Hamilton will be looking to tick this term. He has never failed to record a victory in a Formula One season. Even in his two worst seasons with McLaren in 2009 and 2011 he still managed to win at least two Grand Prix. It was a testament to his skill at the time, and the Brit will have to use all of his brilliance and nous behind the wheel to get over the line in first place on this occasion.

Ferrari's recent issues have allowed Hamilton to record his best two finishes of the season, but the looming presence and speed of Red Bull have allowed them to remain on top. However, if Hamilton keeps putting himself in position during the stretch run of the Formula One season, surely he has to get the breakthrough that he will be craving. Whether it comes, it could be a poignant moment in the history of the sport as one of its greatest drivers' final triumphs.

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