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What Lewis Hamilton learned about retirement from Michael Jordan and Serena Williams

Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton is determined to be prepared for life after the cockpit

Rudy Carezzevoli | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Retiring is never easy, especially when you're a legend of your field.

Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton is determined to be prepared for life after the cockpit. In an interview with GQ Magazine published this week, the 39-year-old said he has spoken to athletes ranging from Serena Williams to Michael Jordan about how they approached the ends of their careers.

"A lot of them said 'I stopped too early' or 'Stayed too long.' 'When it ended, I didn't have anything planned.' 'My whole world came crashing down because my whole life has been about that sport,'" he told the magazine.

Hamilton said he's learned that preparation, or the lack thereof, is a major factor in how an athlete's retirement goes.

"It just got my mind thinking about: Okay, when I stop, how do I avoid that? And so I got serious about finding other things that I was passionate about."

Late last year, Hamilton told CNBC that it's important to him to be able to pursue ventures outside racing, even as he prepares to join Ferrari next year. The racer's extracurricular ventures range from investing to music to fashion.

Hamilton is also a producer on the upcoming Brad Pitt racing drama from "Top Gun: Maverick" director Joseph Kosinski and will play himself in the film.

"I can't race forever, and it's good to have other things that you can be creative and tap into," he said at the time. "You can't be thinking about racing 24/7, because you'll go out of your mind."

Enjoying his pursuits away from the racetrack while he's still at the top of his game will make things easier when it comes time to finally retire, he told GQ.

"When I stop, I'm gonna drop them mic and be happy," he said.

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