Hamilton is facing the toughest season of his F1 career with his Mercedes team well off the pace and not in the fight for the world championship amid an uncompetitive start to the 2022 season. 

The seven-time world champion is yet to win this year and has gone 10 consecutive races since his last victory at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Hamilton finds himself 98 points down on championship leader Max Verstappen, while he is also 34 points behind Mercedes teammate George Russell

Who's Going Where in 2023? | F1 Driver Market Silly Season

Speaking in an interview with The Convex Conversation, Stewart believes Hamilton has missed his best chance to bow out at the very top of F1 and thinks he should quit now to keep his legacy intact. 

“Lewis is in that group of the Ayrton Sennas and the Alain Prosts or even the Jackie Stewarts maybe,” he said.

“He’s carried the sport very well. I would like to see him resigning now.

“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 got music and culture, he'll be successful' 

Stewart has backed Hamilton, who the 83-year-old Scot labelled as “the best of his time”, to make a success of his post-F1 career due to his interests in music and fashion. 

“He’s done extremely well,” Stewart added. “He came from modest beginnings. His father had four or five jobs to afford his karting before a man called Ron Dennis picked him up, because he was so good at karting, and took him into McLaren and got him to win grands prix. He’s very talented.

“When it came time to leave, it was his decision, not Ron Dennis. It was Lewis Hamilton’s decision to go to Mercedes-Benz because he saw the potential of what they had to offer. And he has won six world championships since then.

“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. I think 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. And that’s the best you can do.”