F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton will quit the sport sooner than people expect.

That's according to his British compatriot David Coulthard who believes there are signs that the 32-year-old three-time champion will contemplate a premature retirement.

Coulthard, the F1 runner up in 2001 and now a commentator, told the Daily Mail Hamilton will depart "sooner than we all want".

"In a couple of races (last year) he didn't seem to be right on it. In Baku he was there physically but mentally looked like he was somewhere else," Coulthard said.


"There are moments when you see his pure enjoyment, the little boy in the man if you like. As long as that light is getting switched on from time to time he'll continue to do it.

"But he has to answer the same questions over and over and some days you can see him glaze over and just go through the process. You can fool others but not yourself.

'It won't take much for him to say: 'F*** it, I'm off.' That could be at the end of the year, it could be during the season. It could be sooner than we all want.

"I don't think he's motivated by money but he'll be well aware of his bank balance and he can afford to make that decision.

"I would be surprised if he's still doing it beyond 35 because he started so young. Like anything in life, to keep something fresh and exciting over a 10 to 20-year period is tough.

"Every sportsman has his peak and if he doesn't stop there will be a decline at some point."