Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

Wolff hopes Hamilton will continue in F1 after “pain” of title loss

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula 1 is uncertain following the “pain” of his championship defeat last weekend, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted.

Mercedes has decided not to proceed with an appeal over the controversial end to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton was overtaken by championship rival Max Verstappen following a restart on the final lap which the team insist contravened F1’s regulations.

Hamilton will not participate in today’s FIA prizegiving ceremony, which he is required by the regulations to attend having finished second in the world championship. Wolff has also decided to skip the ceremony. “I won’t be there because of my loyalty to Lewis and because of my own personal integrity,” he explained.

The seven-times champion has not discussed the conclusion to the championship besides brief comments to Formula 1’s official broadcaster before the podium ceremony. He signed a new two-year deal to drive for Mercedes in July, but the team’s anger over the season finale has prompted speculation he may not return.

Wolff said “I would very much hope that Lewis continues racing, because he is the greatest driver of all time,” but admitted the outcome of Sunday’s race hit his driver hard.

“When you look at it from the point of view of the last four races, he dominated on Sunday. There was not even a doubt who won the race and that was worthy of winning the world championship. So we will be working through the events over the next weeks and months.”

The Mercedes team principal is hopeful Hamilton will continue. “I think, as a racer, his heart will say ‘I need to continue’, because he’s at the peak of his game,” he said. “But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday, also because he is a man with clear values, it’s difficult to understand that happened.”

“Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment,” he explained. “Not disillusioned of the sport, we love the sport with every bone in our body, and we love it because the stopwatch never lies.

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“But if we break that fundamental principle of sporting fairness and authenticity of the sport then suddenly the stopwatch doesn’t become relevant anymore because we are exposed to random decision-making, then it’s clear that you fall out of love with it. You start to question if all the work that you have been putting in, all the sweat, tears and blood, can actually be demonstrated in terms of bringing the best possible performances on track, because it can be taken away randomly.

“So it’s going to take a long time to digest what has happened on Sunday. I don’t think we will ever [get] over it. That’s not possible. And certainly not him as a driver.

“I would very much hope that the two of us and the rest of the team, we can work through the events, we can – together with the FIA and with Formula 1 – utilise the situation to improve the sport going forward. But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.”

Wolff said he still struggled to believe the turn the race took in the final laps before the Safety Car was brought it.

“When I rethink the situation that at 18:27, the right decision was being taken – that no cars will un-lap themselves – and four minutes later, out of nowhere, suddenly five cars were allowed to un-lap themselves between Lewis and Max. And 10 seconds later, the decision was made that the Safety Car would come in this lap with a handful of laps only left.

“To be honest, for me, that still seems like a nightmare. That’s why I was in total disbelief on Sunday and I am still until today.”

“On a human level, it is extremely difficult because it is so disappointing,” he added. “As I said before, we love the sport and then suddenly you’re starting to question.

“I mean, you must never lose the big context of life – this is just Formula 1, it’s just a sport, much worse things happen out there and we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking this is the most important thing in the world.

“But it is our little microcosm and it’s a microcosm that we have been part of where we have created values and beliefs and many of those values and beliefs were kicked on Sunday.”

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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262 comments on “Wolff hopes Hamilton will continue in F1 after “pain” of title loss”

  1. I do wonder if the FIA have any idea of the harm they have done to this sport by their actions – throughout 2021, but Brazil and Abu Dhabi in particular.

    It’s devastating to the integrity of the sport.

    1. It’s not devastating to the integrity of the sport if it wasn’t high in integrity in the first place. No real lasting damage has been inflicted.

      Don’t forget Merc signed off on of basically becoming a franchise locking in 10 teams at the exclusion of anyone new ($200m buy-in). F1 is basically the ‘Super League’ model football fans were so angry about last year

      1. It’s not devastating to the integrity of the sport if it wasn’t high in integrity in the first place.

        It may not have been that high before, but it’s still taken a massive hit. It has sunk to a new low, at least in the eyes of a lot of fans (many of whom are neutrals in the MV/LH fight and not Brits).

      2. “F1 is basically the ‘Super League’ model football fans were so angry about last year”

        Well it sort of always has been no? Haha, but yes, not a sport with high levels of integrity to start with….only difference is nowadays, plenty of people in the sport a measuring the size of their Halos.

        A lot of people love to hate Bernie, when he was just the embodiment of what F1 was and still is.

      3. Having a contract hasn’t stopped manufactures from saying F—- it we are done with this sport. We have seen manufacturers not join because they see the insane amount of money that must be spent in order to win in this sport and now you have race officials changing rules on the fly. Why would you join if you can find a cheaper way to brand your product that will also cause you less of a headache that is F1.

    2. I agree. Still I think they only see the nr of spectators rise.

      1. True dat. The wailing and gnashing of teeth make my day, every day. One would think that it was a mother that got dissed.

    3. +1

      F1 is dead from a sports perspective. In my opinion Lewis and Mercedes got betrayed by race-control, and to me this does not look like a mistake. They wanted a new champion and used the chance to gift the trophy to Max. Its a disgrace beyond words.

      1. Absolutely, I’ve loved following F1 all my life, but that’s it for me now, and I suspect for thousands of others. What’s the point when the outcome is not decided by the best driver or the best car or the best team but is solely decided by the race director and his flexible rule book. It’s not just Lewis that should leave F1, Mercedes should withdraw the team.

        1. It’s not just Lewis that should leave F1, Mercedes should withdraw the team.

          Why don’t you write them an email?

      2. How do you square this with Mercedes’ complete dominance of everything. Even if it that’s completely fair in terms of the constructors championship (a separate issue), it’d completely ruined the driver’s championship. How many people stopped watching because only two drivers had a realistic chance for five or six of the previous seven years? That did far more to ruin f1 from a sporting perspective than a mistake in a very difficult situation by the race director.

        How you feel right now is how everyone who doesn’t support your driver has felt for the better part of a decade. If we could deal with it, so can you

        1. Maybe their favorite team should have done a better job building a competitive car.

    4. @sham – No, there’s no harm. This show is in the best form in the last 8 years because Verstappen won. The majority of fans won’t care how he won. They only care that it happened. And as long as Verstappen is winning, they will be with the show.

      Other things, such as integrity, rules or decision-making have no value. Well, probably to 0.001% of the entire fan base those things are meaningful.

      1. I sincerely hope you’re wrong. All the fans I’ve grown up with are knowledgeable, intelligent and only interested in the sporting spectacle.
        It’s this kind of falsification that they hate.

        If we’re the 0.0001% you think we are, then I’ll have to find something else to do with my time – because I won’t be back for more of this.

        1. Hamilton may still be working out the contractual paperwork that lets him go live life without artificial drama, but I have the luxury of not worryng about that.

          Goodbye F1, thanks for the 35 years.

          1. Goodbye F1, thanks for the 35 years.

            And goodbye to you too.

        2. @sham

          The fans you know aren’t necessarily the majority or even a significant factor.

          Just look at the impact that all the scandals have had on the success of the Olympics. People still watch.

    5. @sham Nah, thats a bit too dramatic. They will make changes based on this and their viewership will now go through the roof. There will be no lasting effect negative effects from this going forward except for pro-Merc fines whining about this for years to come.

      1. Mark in Florida
        17th December 2021, 2:35

        (@undercut677) All this drama from the Merc faction. Its pathetic. If the roles were reversed everything would have been alright because Lewis and Mercedes used the red flag to get tires and the race director allowed Lewis a chance to win it on the track instead of a no challenge safety car finish. It all depends on what team you’re rooting for and who it benefited. Like the song from Five Finger Death Punch says its all Shampain.

    6. @sham on the contrary, F1 blogs are full with emotional Hamilton fans hoping he will exact revenge next season and you’d be a fool to bet against him. The classic revenge arc will be everywhere in 2022 despite the fact Masi was favourable to Hamilton over the course of the season.

      1. Explain “favourable”

        At Silverstone virtually anybody who was anybody, thought it a racing incident. Yes. If anyone’s getting punished then it’s Hamilton – but he certainly wasn’t favoured.

        At Brazil he starts to overtake Vettel and basically gets dumped off the track and the incident isn’t even looked at.

        But please tell us all the “favourable” incidents, i.e. ones he got away with and all other drivers didn’t.

        1. regarding Silverstone: tainted glasses much? Or not watching F1 long enough? I don’t get how you explain F1 rules different if Hamilton is the subject? Clearly a fault of Hamilton to me – and at least according to “everybody who was everybody” – oh please

  2. I cannot imagine Hamilton will not want to come back and win it back even more now.

    1. Agree @bascb. Particularly if, as reports suggest, he was instrumental in Mercedes’ decision to drop their appeal. He knows the real talking is done on track.

    2. I think Toto is just doing what any top team boss would at this point. He’s painting the best possible narrative for his team/driver, by making extremely clear how much it affected them and that they are reflecting on their futures as a result, so that when they do all agree to fight again next year, they already have a bit of a psyche boost.

      Furthermore, they must know they have the opportunity to influence things for next year in a positive way (and to their own benefit, since stricter enforcement likely has the impact of reigning in Max/RB very slightly), so it makes sense for them to lay it on thick now to make sure the FIA takes it seriously.

    3. I hope you’re right. One thing is for sure – if he does come back and the car is competitive, he will be nigh on unbeatable.

      1. One part me of says hope he doesn’t come back and never show up any more F1 debacles to show them what disrespect means.

        Other part of me, ham come back strong, and show max a few of his own medicines and every single race say f masi f fia words on his dash or on his helmet in an elegant way. Like they did it on the Abu Dhabi race.

    4. I don’t know. The way things stand now, with merc letting it go, F1 and the FIA are unpunished for this farce. If they suddenly have to explain the most successful (and most globally marketable) driver walk away the at the very least get the big ‘F you’ they deserve…

      1. @mrboerns – most globally marketable? Source??

        Poor Lewis. Poor poor Lewis. He gets 4 freebie ‘titles’ on the trot and then has to deal with the complete unfairness of having to race. Having to compete. Can you imagine?! It’s just not right is it.

        Merc got too cocky with the PU sandbags this year. Add to that the continued mistreatment of Bottas who left his number 1 hanging at the final hour. Had Bottas been up there competing Max wouldn’t have had the space to pit at every VSC / SC. Had they not treated him like a lapdog consistently, or even better, had they signed a driver at least half worthy of that car, would things have ended differently? Will Merc have the ‘integrity’ to look in the mirror and consider how they really lost this year??

        The truth is that Lewis will be loving the equity he gets out of this as a victim. He is the Megan Rapinoe of F1, he lives to be seen as a victim. Making hundreds of millions along the way…

        All this dummy spitting is truly hilarious. After 7 years of anti-competitive dominance, NOW F1 is a show?? Lewis loses for the first time in 5 and NOW it’s manipulated?? I guess that red pill doesn’t go down so easy eh?

        1. @asherway look, I have my issues with Lewis but comparing him to Rapinoe is a disservice as Rapinoe constantly lies, misinforms and manipulates for more money that she uses privately.

          Lewis puts his money where his mouth is. I would love to go disc golfing with Hamilton (never Toto) but Rapinoe? She might have to fork over a few million for me to even RSVP

          1. Ha! That’s fair. But if (when?) Lewis dies his hair purple we’ll have to revisit this…

        2. I think Lewis has been utterly dignified but Wolf has been pathetic. What supreme arrogance to say it wasn’t worth it because they were denied thus event when teams like Williams, Sauber and Hass sweat blood for a single point while a huge corporation throw billions at the sport and hoover up the sponsors in an attempt to dominate.

        3. Commentators like this are a perfect example of F1’s new target market. Read how he ignores the obvious reasonable grievances and goes on about everything except the actual racing. He loves the drama more than the racing itself. He is entertained by the drama and the personalities and not the racing.

          Yes, Lewis won championships unchallenged, but he did so within the rules of the sport. It is a sport, so therefore athletes, and in this case teams and their cars can and will dominate. We agree with you it becomes unappealing to watch. It is sport, it can’t be entertainment 24/7. I’d argue many other sports are quite boring the majority of the time. But we love cars and we always find action somewhere around the track.

          …But the fact of the matter is, the rules of the sport were conveniently ignored by an official of the sport, and the governing body is more concerned about the image of the brand than the integrity of the sport. Entertainment before sport is where their values lie. This is the problem, if we consider it a sport still.

          1. @gufdamm – I ignored the obvious grievances because I think they are completely baseless. It’s clearly stated in the rules that the RD has final authority over the use of the safety car. The regs cannot account for every conceivable situation so they are at times written to allow for improvisation, and in this case, to protect the officials. It’s basically a ‘no correspondence will be entered into’ allowance. Of course it is exploitable, but given the complete inconsistency in decision making this year, and the fact that both drivers were penalised (and not) across the course of the season, it seems more likely that a late race incident had a huge impact on this result, and that it was not a concerted manipulation to achieve a specific outcome.

            So I disagree with this notion that the rules were broken. The teams were told ahead of the race that finishing under green would be a priority. Merc decided not to pit given the information they had but it was still a risk. Similar to the risk Norris took in Russia by staying out. Sometimes when things go sideways (a late race SC or rain shower) it’s advantageous to be in 2nd and simply react to what the leader does. Abu Dhabi was simply another of many examples like this and not the injustice of the century as many like to claim.

            Regarding the racing, the hybrid era has been a disaster. Before that, DRS, for me, is where the ‘sport’ deteriorated and it’s been on the slide since. But I didn’t hear many Hamilton fans complaining about it until this week.

        4. So you basically agree with the rules been manipulated so the just the top two can race for a lap.

          But then again, as you think that Hamilton’s 2017 to 2019 titles were “freebie titles”, you clearly don’t know anything about F1 anyway.

  3. Lewis Hamilton ,Rusell and wolffe and mercedes we still rise

    1. And Michael Masi will again put them into dirt.

      1. Michael Masi won’t be RD next year, even if he is there he would act like a scared rabbit and unable to do his job properly.

  4. Kimberley Barrass
    16th December 2021, 12:54

    I’ve got to believe that next year Hamilton will be back and incredibly motivated .. – not sure about the year after – If he wins he retires on 8. If he loses because the car isn’t competitive or Russell beats him – would he really want to go again?

    1. He’ll be amazingly motivated, possibly at his most devastatingly fast. Only a fool underestimates Hamilton, the fact he came from behind against what had been the faster car to tie things ahead of the last round and should have won on merit says it all.

      1. Think hamilton has a chance to prove he’s a worthy multiple champion next year, he surprised me this 2nd half of the year, considering his age, and having a competitive championship campaign next year against a strong driver in the same car and other strong drivers in other cars (assuming they can get it right), with the possibility to get wins in a car that might not be the best in a given weekend, that’s the stuff where you can see if a driver is actually strong or if it was just the car.

      2. Who are you people that somehow think Hamilton defeated the odds this year?
        Fact of the matter is the Mercedes overall was the better car. Yes, the RBR overall was the better car in the first 9 races of the season, but somehow all his fans didn’t see how the Mercedes easily took over after that.
        Especially since Italy it was nigh on dominant – only in Mexico was the Red Bull better.
        Tallying the races?
        Red Bull was faster in Portugal, Monaco, Baku, Styria and Austria, Holland and Mexico. That’s 7.
        They were pretty much even in Bahrain, Imola, France, Great-Britain, and the USA. That’s 5.
        Mercedes were faster in Spain, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. That’s 9.

        The reason “Hamilton came back from behind” was Max being crashed out in Silverstone and Hungary, having a tyre fail on him in Baku, and the Mercedes taking over as the best car. It’s quite telling of the fantastic season Max had that he was even tied going into the title decider. He pulled results that he sometimes shouldn’t have – and Lewis threw a bucket of good points away (Baku, Monaco, Austria and arguably even Imola). If Lewis hadn’t thrown those away, and given Max’s bad luck, Lewis shouldn’t even have needed a result in Abu Dhabi anymore.

        And even in Abu Dhabi Lewis could have done better. Because make what you want of the race director decision to let them race for a final lap, what all his fans seem to be forgetting is that Lewis could have protected himself against even that if he hadn’t been so overly cautious against a so much slower Checo. He initially stormed past without losing too much time, but then failed to cover off the inside at the end of the first straight and allowed Checo back past. He should never have let Checo dive back on the inside. That was a huge mistake, if he had covered the inside he would’ve stormed off in the distance instead of losing 8 seconds behind Checo. Those 8 seconds would have undoubtedly let him have a free stop for fresh softs and would’ve seen him take the title.
        And even then on the last racing lap he allowed Max to overtake where he did. If the roles have been reversed, you can bet Max would have covered that off too. And with the straight line speed of the Mercedes he might even have kept the lead.

        The Mercedes was the better car this year, but the Red Bull was competitive enough to allow Max, who definitely was the best driver this year, to fight for the title.

        1. @mattds

          Red Bull was faster in Portugal, Monaco, Baku, Styria and Austria, Holland and Mexico. That’s 7.
          They were pretty much even in Bahrain, Imola, France, Great-Britain, and the USA. That’s 5.
          Mercedes were faster in Spain, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. That’s 9.

          I’d agree mostly, although I would put Red Bull faster in Bahrain and Mercedes faster in Portugal.

        2. Well said. +1

  5. Lewis will go to Ferrari for his 8th. That will be epic

    1. Lewis is not better than sainz or leclerc anymore. He was lewis because merc that he is driving suits him 100%. He cannot start somewhere else from 0 and dominate, because he is not young anymore. That’s what vettel faced when he raced against leclerc.

    2. More likely, back to McLaren to win his 8th where it all began…

      …I wish!

  6. Hamilton will not attend the FIA gala this evening. That is a breach of article 6.6 of F1’s Sporting Regulations.

    Protesting a perceived breach of the regulations by breaking the regulations is neither fair, nor sporting, nor particularly smart.

    FIA sanctions incoming.

    1. FIA can put their sanctions into… you know where. Who cares about FIA, now?!

      1. so that’s a change of hart. So it depends on who is to profit in your eyes.
        If rule bending is favoring lewis there is no problem.
        Hypocrites always betray themselves.
        But at least next year we will do without you.
        Happy Holidays..

    2. It’ll be part of the agreement with Mercedes not to appeal and drag the FIA through the mud that they won’t have to attend the gala, I’d expect.

      1. That would be even weirder. The FIA secretly colluding with a team and a driver to cicrumvent the rules. Isn’t that exactly the sort of thing a lot of people have been shouting against?

        This paints a really bad picture: Wolff and Hamilton feel so entitled, that when they do lose, they see no obligation to play by the rules, because these rules obviously don’t apply to them. It demonstrates that the contents of the letter were just PR.

        Or maybe Wolff and Hamilton were overruled within the Mercedes organisation, because what they are saying and doing clearly contradicts the letter.

        1. Hmmmm so tell me what do you think was going on when Masi asked Christian Hoerner at the Saudi Arabian GP which one does he want (1) A Penalty or (2) Dropping behind Lewis at the restart???

        2. Wolff and Hamilton feel so entitled, that when they do lose, they see no obligation to play by the rules

          You are absolutely incredible in how you ignore the facts. And how did they lose? Probably, because the rules were changed at the very last moment to give the win to competitors?

          If the FIA doesn’t follow their own rules, why should others?

          1. Look at the official results of the race. Hamilton lost. Verstappen won. Those are the facts.

        3. Oh come on, what rules?
          I am sure that if there is a penalty they can both afford to pay it.
          In the current covid situation I think Galas such as that are probably best avoided anyway.

          1. Nice touch.. if lewis refuses his second place it will go tho Valtteri. Well deserved for a year long being used as maidservant
            And Checo third.. nice touch indeed.
            Go lewis!

    3. Yes, I mentioned this on a previous thread. The FIA and certain members of the F1 press can now put aside the events of last weekend and concentrate on what really matters. Sanctioning Hamilton for his part in this saga.

      1. Did I misunderstand all the screaming and shouting of the last days? I thought is was about playing by the rules.

        1. Yes, but you and many others have argued that the rules don’t matter anymore. It’s about who ‘deserves it’, sometimes about ‘karma’, and usually a big dollop of whataboutism. But the big difference is I believe if the rules are broken things should be put right, and those that broke the rules should be punished. Quite happy to listen to the demands that Hamilton should have his achievements this year expunged from the record books as a punishment.

          1. @ ian dearing

            Got it. So Max should have been penalised for his lunges at Brazil and Abu Dhabi. I concur

          2. Where have I said the “rules don’t matter anymore”. That is nonsense.

            I think the misconception may be that a lot of people think only some rules should apply, mostly those in favor of their team and their driver. These should always be followed to the letter. These people then ignore all other rules, especially those rules, which may supercede their favorite rule. This then evolves to these people thinking that the FIA etc., who think all rules should apply, don’t follow the rules.

        2. rules no longer exist, as we know now

          1. So lewis bending the rules ( max did not!) is no problem.
            Yep, hypocrite sensed ;)

    4. I believe the reg says that “any driver who finishes in the top 3 must attend the gala”. As we know, any doesn’t mean all.

      1. That made me laugh.

      2. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

      3. @j4k3 Ha ha ha! 😁

      4. LOL, EPIC. Thank you!

      5. @j4k3
        That’s right. Also, I think FIA officials have the authority to override 6.6 of the sporting regulations. According to the sporting regulations:
        “”FIA Gala Buffet Organizer shall have overriding authority in the following matters:
        e) the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony””

      6. If Hamilton attended the gala I can just imagine him reaching for the last sausage roll when, unexpectedly, Michael Massi shouts “Oi, Lewis” and Max jumps in and grabs it…

      7. Brilliant!!!!

      8. Kimberley Barrass
        17th December 2021, 9:46


    5. What could possibly be the penalty for this?
      5 place penalty for the queue for the buffet at the next FIA event?

      1. No vol-au-vents.

      2. Mandatory drinking contest against Kimi

        1. That’s would be fixed and unfair

          Maybe an ice cream eating competition? In gorilla suits?

    6. @uzsjgb well, they can enforce it but since they can’t enforce their own rules in the race…

      What would be great is the FIA doesn’t allow Verstappen to show up. Following Abu Dhabi, that would be the next logical action by the FIA. In Max’s and Lewis’ absence, the championship is randomly given to one of the F1 drivers present and Tsunoda wins the WDC in his rookie year! Fully deserved especially given his monster drive at Abu Dhabi!

      Now, that would be awesome and I think the proper finale to the season. Plus the world would get to see Horner’s sportsmanship as he runs and tackles Yuki onstage.

    7. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      16th December 2021, 14:13

      @uzsjgb are those regulations, or merely suggestions? It’s so hard to follow FIA proclamations these days.

      1. When in doubt, don’t follow proclamations or forum posts.

        You can download the sporting regulations directly from the FIA website. The rule in question is 6.6: “The drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.”

        I was slightly bemused that there would be a rule for this in the sporting regulations.

        1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          16th December 2021, 14:29

          @uzsjgb If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that FIA regulations don’t need to be followed.

        2. Its almost as if they want to make the procedures that need to be followed clear so that no one can randomly do their own thing at any point.

    8. I’d pay good money to watch Lewis turn up, get drunk and then tell the lot of them what he really thinks about there so called sport… perhaps next year on Netflix.. who knows, F1 has entered the fake reality TV genre after all.

    9. I think it would be very rich for the FIA to penalise him for breaking the rules on a non-race matter when they are no penalising their race director for ignoring the rules on. I think the FIA will stay silent on the matter, because anything they bring up about it would just highlight their own hypocrisy.

    10. I sure hope so. Lewis should not be above the law.

      1. His “fans” seem to think otherwise.
        Lewis is saint so whatever he does must be alright.
        Rules only go for other drivers and especially the ones that dared to pass him on track!

  7. There is no sense to continue. He can be robbed of anything (All!), anywhere and by any Race Director – The God Himself Michael Masi.

  8. When Hamilton gave his post-race interview and was asked about next season, his “We’ll see” response felt like an indication he was done, and in the heat of the moment I don’t blame him.

    However, I hope that upon reflection he has still got the desire to come back next season and try and win the title back.

  9. nobody talks about the disgrace of not attending the fia gala?

    1. Why take part in a Cheaters gala?! Hamilton is not a cheater. He doesn’t belong among them.

      1. +1

        why attend the gala of the ones who betrayed you? makes no sense. cheaters can celebrate theirselves.

      2. Breaking the rules to prove you do not break the rules or are better than the “rule-breakers” and “cheaters” defeats the purpose.

        On top of that it gives the whole world the chance to point at Hamilton and say he is a sore loser.

        Hamilton has carried himself with dignity during this whole affair, I would have hoped he would have continued along this path.

        1. any driver will show up, so there must be some misunderstanding by some fans…

          1. Read the rules and don’t base your opinions on jokes made by other posters.

          2. i dont care to read up some rules for this. showing up at a cheaters gala is not necessary in my opinion. and when there are consequences sobeit. cheaters can celebrate theirselves well enough i guess.

          3. @romtrain

            dont care to read up some rules for this.

            after days fuming this is your conclusion… you could have spared us and yourself a lot of rubbish.

          4. @romtrain

            dont care to read up some rules for this.

            I know. With people like you it really is never about rules or fairness or sportsmanship. And you have no shame publicly admitting that.

        2. @uzsjgb you sound young and unaware of life

          1. He talks about things outside your scoop of comprehension… (thats something easy to do btw..)
            But lets do it your way.. if no arguments then Ad hominem is the way to go.

      3. First complaint of Mercedes. Rules are applied wrong because it limits racing (easy to say over the past years when you are way ahead of competition). Now a rule is applied to facilitate racing and you complain because you lose. Many fans seem to forget that they (Mercedes/ Lewis) wanted racing first….

    2. Ah yes, like going to someone’s party after they slept and stole your ex. A disgrace not to attend.

      1. *slept with

      2. At least you agree its your ex ;)

    3. In his position, would you go?

    4. Emmanuel Goldstein
      16th December 2021, 13:07

      regardless of the rights & wrongs, would he even be able to get there from the UK after collecting his knighthood given France’s reinstatement of entry restrictions from the UK due to Omicron

    5. I expect a certain RaceFan contributor will.

    6. Mark,

      You can make the case that the FIA hosting a gala is a disgrace. If I were to give percentages, I’d say it 95% a disgrace to host a gala and 5% a disgrace for Lewis not to show up…

      1. Would that work the other way around? if it was Max?

  10. Good of Wolff to show support to Nick de Vries and the Mercedes Formula E team by staying away tonight…

    1. Does he run the Mercedes E Team. Thought it was Ian James.

  11. This is Toto waffling, trying to get a dig in at the FIA that one of the best drivers may not be back due their handling of Abu Dhabi. Lewis will do at least one more year

  12. I don’t think that Lewis has anything to prove to anybody.
    I would love for him to stay for much longer yet, but if he walks away because of this embarrassing farce (embarrassing to the FIA ofc) then I for one would totally understand.

    1. And with no competition Max picks up and dominates. No word from Horner that fans at large don’t like to see domination in the sport.

      Max is now the legend of F1 and after a few years the same noises start to reverberate about how boring F1 has become and we end up with a similar controversy with Horner repeating everything that Toto is doing now.

      History does repeat itself.

      1. Vestappen is no where near a legend of the sport, you need to do far more then he’s come close to doing for that.

        1. Give him chance! He’s been up against the mighty Mercs (and other top teams) since his first race, not as though he had the chances Ham had on a plate from his first season and ever since.

          Max has had to graft his way to the top. And now hes finally got a car that can live up to his massive talent. If the teams hes with continue to create winning cars for him, I can see 10 titles being possible with upwards of 200 wins!

          1. Max has had to graft his way to the top

            Do you mean top of the podium or top team, as Redbull has been a top team since he started racing there his first year.

          2. @OOliver you know what he meant. Sure Red Bull was always a top team. It had zero chance to win a WCC or WDC before this year, and that was the entire point.

          3. @OOliver also, he didn’t start at Red Bull in his first year. But “facts, whatever”, right?

      2. Hello? you’re forgetting about Russel.

  13. Wonder if Netflix ratings of 22 season will suffer with no Lewis onboard, that’s will be a true problem for Liberty media, not sporting principles, competition and F1 values, but ratings….

    1. As incredible as this season has been (controversial governing/stewarding decisions aside), I worry that it has set a benchmark in entertainment that Liberty/FOM will be all-too-eager to at the least repeat if not exceed. If the new regs turn out to be a flop or not deliver the same levels of drama witnessed this season, who knows what they’ll come up with to spice up the “show”. For this reason I highly doubt that the decision makers will learn from what has just happened.

    2. Nahh, F1 is FAR bigger than any one driver. Even the loss of Senna didnt shake its fanbase that much, and ham is certainly not on Senna’s GOAT levels!

    3. Some of us actually change the channel whenever an interview with Lewis is coming on, so… Full respect that he is a beast in that Mercedes (because I dont think Bottas is THAT bad a driver. Its more that Hamilton makes him look subpar), but judging by other forums keep in mind that quite a few of us watch F1 in spite of Hamilton, and definitely not because of him, so it goes both ways.

  14. ‘When I rethink the situation that at 18:27, the right decision was being taken – that no cars will un-lap themselves – and four minutes later, out of nowhere, suddenly five cars were allowed to un-lap themselves between Lewis and Max. And 10 seconds later, the decision was made that the Safety Car would come in this lap with a handful of laps only left.’

    Interesting that Toto was quite happy with the inconsistent application of the regulations when no cars could un-lap themselves.

    1. That’s not inconsistent, that would be 100% within the regulation as written.

    2. No unlapping is uncommon, but in the regulations. Unlapping some is not.

      1. Had they let all lapped cars through on time the result would be the same just one less argument for Toto to abuse.

        The rules give the race director freedom to override and the cars that were not let through didn’t suffer and the race result didn’t change so what is the problem? Just Mercedes shouting their head off about foul play when the result is exactly the same as when all lapped cars would have been let through on lap 56.

        1. if they had let all lapped cars through then by rule the safety car would have to enter the pits at the end of the following lap ie the end of the race

        2. You’re wrong, but there seems to be a lot of that going around a lot at the moment. The race director has no freedom to override rules. He has the freedom to deploy and withdraw the safety car but before either can happen he must meet certain criteria which he didn’t do.

          1. The stewards disagree. Calling the safety car in is a separate article in the regulations.

    3. This is also true. The normal procedure is to unlap the lapped cars. So why that first call to not unlap? And why should that be the right decission? This is also one of the things that should be taken into account when they investigate this final race. Who made what decission and why and who was informed / consulted during that proces.

      You also have to evaluate the rules themselves. Why do we unlap the lapped cars. Why are you allowed to fix your car and tyres during red flags. Why are the gaps not reinstalled after a SC. etc.

      1. Alonso’s chuckle when he was informed he couldn’t pass said it all. Even from inside the cockpit it was obvious that this would lead to endless debate that Masi and the FIA had helped Hamilton a second time during this crucial race, or third for those who would have believed Wolf’s attempt to influence Masi on the VSC had an effect.

        Masi changed his mind, saw he was running out of time, and messed up.

  15. This is the third time the FIA have screwed Lewis over and like in real life if a relationship is damaging and toxic its time to walk away, I hope Lewis does leave as F1 has shown that it isn’t interested in being a sport and more interested in being a form of entertainment. Why come back and go for an 8th Championship in what is effectively ‘Made in Chelsea’ on wheels, the FIA have seen the interest staged racing has created and it will want more to keep the clicks and social media coming, if there isn’t anymore controversy like we saw on Sunday then the social media crowd will move on to the next fake TV media product.
    Lewis should leave and pursue the ‘Triple Crown’ that would cement him as a true great racer and F1 can bask in its own pile of self delusional ‘pinnacle of Motorsport’ bull.

    1. Oh boohoo. If they were so against Lewis, he would’ve been told to give back the place in the first lap as well. They would’ve absolutely had a basis to do that, but they didn’t.
      When were the other times they’ve screwed him over? When we had Spygate, Hamilton (as well as Alonso) was proven to be in the know but could regardless still retain his results and position in the WDC that year? When we had the Merc drivers in black helmets doing al illegal tyre test for which a slap on the wrist was given? Or is it about this year, when he could crash out Max and he again got a slap on the wrist and won the race? When he was asolutely rightfully excluded from qualifying because of an incompliant car? Is that “being screwed over”?

      The whole idea that Hamilton has somehow had to face FIA-directed adversity is rubbish. And if he had driven better this year (not throwing away a win in Baku, for example, or not allowing Checo to have the inside and re-overtake past weekend, or not allowing Max to come up the inside in that last lap, or …) he would’ve still won it.

      Always easy to point at everyone else being the bad guys.

  16. Lewis is for sure one of the best drivers all time and Toto did run the best team of all time. But, It’s not often you see such a bad losers in sports. Toto and Lewis should really be be a shame of themselves. They totally seem to forget all the hard work all their 600+ colleagues and winning the constructors world championship. They make a disgrace of themselves and don’t care about all their colleagues. It’s really discusting. They both should retire and respect their colleagues.

  17. I hope Mercedes didn’t also abandon Lewis in this.

  18. If Lewis walks away, Verstappen is going to walk all over the championships for some years, even with a 2nd rate car. He is devastatingly faster compared to the rest of the field.

    1. @cobray Unless Mercedes (or even Ferrari) get the new aero rules right better than RB.
      In this case, I reckon Russell would be in a stronger position.

      1. @jerejj

        I think Leclerc in a car as good as Red Bull would also give Max a good run for his money. In terms of raw pace, he could match Verstappen. I don’t think he matches Verstappen on consistency and maturity though.

        1. Mostly agree. Remember the not so fast but highly consistent Sainz has beaten Leclerc over the season. None of the Fezza drivers can beat Max in the same machinery presently, I reckon. But hey, a driver with Leclerc’s pace and Sainz’s racecraft might beat Max.

    2. There will be silence from Horner about how fans don’t like dominance whilst counting his millions in prize money.

    3. Leclerc, Sainz, Norris and Russell all seem capable of a sustained championship bid given the right car.
      Probably not all of them are WDC material, as we once said the same about Alesi, Coulthard and Fisichella. Nevertheless, I reckon they will rise to the challenge if provided with a competitive car, and certainly when provided with the best car.

      That being said, I hope Hamilton stays. I have a soft spot for old champions roaring back.

  19. Good god, what a soap series Hamilton and Wild make of this sport. That team needs a gagging order on social media for the next year or so… It’s beyond ridiculous. When Mosley and Eccelstone ran the business Mercedes would have been slapped silly for their bad attitude and behaviour with the Discredit the sport clause.

    1. Mercedes is into competition and fair racing. It was not their doing to sacrifice sports for the show, and create a manifactured championship result.

      1. What utter waffle… They bent the rules like no team before, complaints, questionable driving by their drivers, manipulating drivers from affiliated teams, questionable parts on the car.. Stop trying to make these people to be saints. They are very far from it.

        1. Neither is your mate Horner who knows all about questionable parts on cars. Don’t leave anyone out with your hate!

          Wasn’t it Gasly who jumped out of the way of Verstappen the other day like a good team mate would. No driver manipulation there!

          Tsunoda who would do anything he could to help Verstappen win the championship?

          1. Alpha Tauri is owned by Redbull not affiliated like McLaren or Williams. It’s not the same thing.

  20. Haha Wild should be Wolff of course

  21. Jose Lopes da Silva
    16th December 2021, 13:24

    I don’t think Lewis Hamilton will want to get into a Nigel Mansell’s soap opera.

  22. Mercedes doing its utmost to keep up the pressure on FIA. I hope they showing the same rigor while working on the ’22 regs.

  23. So, if Lewis walks, who is in.

    de Vries – Vandoorne – Ocon – Bottas?

    1. Alonso :)

      If ever there is a seat opening at Mercedes and Alonso’s name is not linked to it, it will be blasphemy.

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        16th December 2021, 14:23

        No way Mercedes will allow Alonso to take that seat and see a repeat of 2007 season when they were engine supplier to Mclaren.

        Alonso shouldn’t be in F1 anymore – simply not right to keep occupying seats when there is so much young talent including F2 champions not able to get a seat.

        1. Well, it’s no longer 2007. Lotsa people predicted Alonso would disrupt the Renault team etc etc. And Esteban Ocon isn’t the most easygoing guy around precisely.

          Surely the fact that they are not involved in a championship fight is significant, but you have to admit that the team’s politics have been pretty much uneventful and harmonious. Fred had piocked some fights this year, but mostly with the inconsistent stewarding.

    2. I hope he stays.

      Lewis, the guy I love to hate.

    3. If they are at the front; anyone. Until Max can extricate himself out of the RB contract.

      1. Wasn’t Verstappen fawning over RBR the other day that he will stay with them forever?

        1. Yes. But his current contract and future contract with RB will still have clauses based on the cars performance level.

    4. @hannesch does it matter? I can’t imagine Toto doing this and Mercedes without Toto and Lewis isn’t Mercedes.

      Mercedes is out of F1 – if not today, then in a few years.

      1. @freelittlebirds

        Of course MB will eventually sell their last 1/3 of MGP stock. That was inevitable. That was set in motion by selling stock to ineos.

        But I think they will stay as an engine supplier though.

        And Toto has to sell his stock or stay as shareholder. (stopping as team principle is a stand alone decision) Anything else is just throwing cash out of the window. And in my opinion not possible.

    5. Mick?

    6. I think they’d try for Norris.

      A Russell/Norris pairing would be a dream from a PR perspective and would probably be pretty good on track too!

  24. I have a feeling Lewis is retiring… I can’t see him being able to accept the way the sport acted towards him and it wasn’t just the FIA.

    The silence from the entire paddock is unbelievable in the face of the worst sport incident of all time. What sport are they all in?

    What a disgrace…

    I guess Rossi, Marquez would have done the same.

    1. With “silence” do you mean Red Bull calling for a rules rethink, even going so far as to say “The whole system needs to be rethought”?

      I see Red Bull’s interests fully aligned with those of Mercedes. Red Bull and Verstappen did nothing wrong, but through the actions of the FIA Verstappen’s title is tarnished.

    2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      16th December 2021, 14:33

      @freelittlebirds Agreed. It reminds me of that poem…

      First they came for the Communists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Communist
      Then they came for the Socialists…

    3. True, but that’s the price you pay when your wrapped up in the stinking Cartel called the FIA.

    4. Quite a lame way to end the career. You win 7 titles with the best by far car and after the first year the title doesn’t automatically fall into you lap (or that of your teammate) you pack up and run? Is this Hamilton saying he’s not up to the task of being competitive next year? How many titles are just the result of the vastly superior cars he had?
      Walking away now would make him seem like a sore loser and would tarnish his reputation as one of the best ever.

      1. He didn’t win in 2016 but didn’t retire.

      2. It’s not that Hamilton lost, it’s the nature of that loss.

        As someone says above, it would be easy to interpret the scenario as hugely disrespectful to him. I cannot for a second imagine Valentino Rossi or Marc Marquez falling victim to a similar situation in MotoGP.

        If a jumped-up FIA official like Masi can’t show Lewis the respect he deserves then why would he want to remain in the sport?

        The whole Hamilton family showed how you act with dignity and grace last week. If he serenely walks off into the distance I wouldn’t blame him but in the short term the sport would be worse-off and that would be the FIA’s fault.

  25. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
    16th December 2021, 13:47

    What if…..

    The order of the races would have been different .
    If Baku, Hungary or Silverstone had been the last race??

    1. @rebelangelfloyd but they weren’t

      You can argue that the drivers and teams would have behaved differently if one of those races was the last and not in the middle of the season.

    2. Baku and Silverstone would be unlucky, but not controversial, similar to Michael’s engine failure at Suzuka 2006.

      Hungary being the last race would have been an even bigger chaos than Abu Dhabi :)

      1. Silverstone would not have been controversial !!!! What kind of world do you live in?? England? :-)

    3. Than Max would have been WDC before the start of the race. But I understand your point of view

    4. @rebelangelfloyd

      I cannot even imagine the uproar if Spa was last…

  26. I don’t see how Mercedes & LH can race under Masi going forward,
    Any stewarding decision in their favor will be seen as making up for Abu Dhabi & and against a Mercedes/LH bias. It just won’t work, Masi has to go.

  27. Point is that Max got lucky ands Lewis got hurt in the last race.
    But the championship is over 22 races.
    If you ( try to be) unbiased Lewis got hurt more than Lewis over the season.

    Of course there is more attention to the last race.
    But imagine the outcry if Lewis or Valteri crashed out Max in the last race.

  28. If Lewis’s past is prologue to next year, he will come into the season revitalised. If he is given a car as capable as this years was at the end of the season, he will clinch his 8th title in Japan if not sooner.

    He has no reason to retire, uses negativity as fuel and will have a point to prove. Don’t bet against an 8th, 9th and 10th titles just to stick it to Todt, regardless of who his replacement is, as it is under Todt that this debacle occurred, notwithstanding Todt’s recorded dislike for Mercedes dominance and his sentimental desire to maintain Schumacher as the record holder.

    1. If you have Masi who is even more powerful than negativity, how can you fight with that and not lose all the time.

  29. Lewis retirement would give Piastri the chance to win another title in his rookie season. What’s not to like about that?

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      16th December 2021, 14:19

      That would be brilliant Russell & Piastri in the Mercedes fighting with Leclerc & Sainz in the Ferrari, Norris in the Mclaren and Max in the Red Bull.

      Hopefully 4 very competitive cars with 6 drivers all younger than 25 – the new golden generation.

    2. @zomtec I mean, if Hamilton were to retire I’d expect Ocon to move to Mercedes and Piastri to slot into the Alpine seat. But he won’t retire. Like 2016, he will come back stronger.

      1. @red-andy of course he won’t retire, he has a big chance to be the only 8-time world champion ever. And of course nobody would put a rookie in a WCC winning car.

        1. nobody would put a rookie in a WCC winning car.

          Sounds like sarcasm top me. 2007 anyone?

  30. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    16th December 2021, 14:17

    If Lewis is considering to quit he should quit, if you can participate with all your energy and drive you should not occupy the best seat in town.

    Honestly I much rather see Toto quitting than Hamilton, that would be so much better for F1 than to have this petty sore loser still around. Toto has been extremely manipulative and questionable when it comes to his fingers in various pies that is time that FIA starts to take action.

    At this stage Toto’s comments and now also his wife comments starts to become ridiculous and the FIA should start to act and punish Toto for bringing the sport in discredit. His angry reactions and behavior is a horrible example for the youth and should not be allowed to continue.

  31. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    16th December 2021, 14:18

    I’d like him to stay for one more season, hopefully win his 8th and then bow out on a high. Formula One right now is a horror show: the FIA has stated that stewards don’t need to follow the rules, nor the race director. If there were any sense of urgency from the FIA that things must improve I’d be hopeful, but the signals they’re sending out suggest that they’re pretty happy with the current situation.

  32. Hamilton is the most successful driver ever in Formula 1 and has been a huge factor in its recent popularity. Sure his and Mercedes` dominance posed a competitivity problem for the sport, though not through any fault of their own. But he must feel that his contribution and that of his team have been sacrificed, along with any sporting integrity, for Masi, FIA and Liberty to engineer a result in the last few minutes of the season because it wasn’t going to end with the new champion they wanted. If true, that’s no reflection on Max’s talent and dedication this season (I have my doubts about Red Bull’s working ethos at the top in general, but never mind).

    I’m really not sure Hamilton will continue. I’d guess a more than 50-50 chance he’ll walk away. If you think your time is wasted because the sport can be rigged at any moment, why continue?

  33. No way he’s leaving, Mercedes leaning into it. Not appealing but still milking the controversy for all it’s worth.

    1. @skipgamer I don’t see that it’s likely Hamilton isn’t mulling over his options or that Mercedes and Wolff, right now, would want to report falsely on Hamilton’s state of mind. I’d see that at this point it probably needs FIA (maybe via Brawn?) to reach out to him with some guarantees that Formula 1 is still a sport committed to fair contest and to address the debacle at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP. If his mind is eased on those scores, sure, I’d imagine him competing next year. Depends how much FIA and Liberty value Hamilton staying in Formula 1, I guess. Perhaps neither could care less.

  34. Lewis continuing is down to two things:

    (1) how Mercedes’ 2022 car is coming along, and
    (2) how good George Russell is

    Both were known to him prior to the Abu Dhabi GP, and so, I suspect, was his decision regarding his future.

  35. Sir Lewis Hamilton,
    Please leave cheaters FIA alone and leave the cheating entertainment sportish farce named F1!

    1. You can always take him with you!

      1. Yeah, you look good together with FIA cheaters.

  36. I think it’s simply the case that Lewis hasn’t had enough time to deal with what happened and it’s better not to show up than to sit there and pretend you’re happy for Max, looking a little like Sheldon Cooper trying to fake being happy for Raj (and if you haven’t seen that episode, comedy gold).

    1. @velocityboy I love the Big Bang Theory and the new show Sheldon!

      Well, I think Toto, his wife, and Lewis feel very different – I’m not sure this appeal is being dropped willingly.

      I feel like if I continue to watch F1, it’s like following Serie A. No one that has a choice follows the league.

  37. Lewis will not be at the ceremony? For what reason? It is mandatory for him to show up anyway. That’s just childish behaviour.
    Toto also not being at the ceremony to get the WCC trophy is sort of inconsiderate for the rest of the Merc team. They worked their asses off to get the 8th consecutive title, he should show some backbone and be there whether he likes it or not.

    They will never stop whining, will they. Forgot how to lose I guess.

    1. Well, it’s a different story to be gracious and a different story to participate in fake celebrations. As for losing, Mercedes didn’t lose. It was one of the clearest victories in F1 by Lewis and Mercedes.

      1. It was one of the clearest victories in F1 by Lewis and Mercedes.

        You are now in the same strange dimension f1foolhere regulary seems to live..

        But again i will help you with the simplest of rules in F1.
        The car that finishes first is the one that wins the race.
        There was a gap between the two cars and of course you only looked at the Mercedes. But then Max was already past he finish.

        1. Seann Sheriland
          16th December 2021, 17:31

          Is that why Shumacher, lost the championship to Villeneuve?

  38. The only thing I retain is clearly the similarity between boss and pilot.
    Never give up, continue with determination, push the limits to a new level, blah, blah, blah…with the permission of: as long as they continue to win, everything.
    When that doesn’t happen, due to the merit and application of the same assumptions by the opponents, everything is immediately put into question.
    For God’s sake, there’s no patience.
    It’s called humility, respect and recognition, in my land, these are the true values and principles that should always be present.
    The reign, an authentic walk in the park, ended, the level of difficulty this year was at a serious level, and Hamilton lost. He will want to leave, it will probably be the right time to do so, as the trend is for next year, to tighten even more….

    1. It must have hurt you so much when he stood on the podium and also congratulated Max on the championship @trindade.

      I also think he should be there, but the leaps you are makih in this comment are too much in the circumstances.

      1. Wrong sir @john-h
        Firstly, as a declaration of interests, only an F1 lover, a Ferrari fan.
        It didn’t hurt me at all, the championship was won by whoever was better throughout the year. Only justice was done and the one who was better won.
        The rest, actions of circumstance, which I recognize, suit him well.

        1. Fair enough @trindade I apologise.
          I don’t agree with the done on merit thing (I know Alonso has been going with that line that Max was the more worthy).
          To be honest I think they both deserved it, it’s a real shame it ended with Masi taking centre stage regardless of who won.

          But you say respect, humility etc. and I point out that actually Hamilton has acted with dignity. I think he should be at the ceremony, but that aside he was on the podium at Abu Dhabi and could have easily kicked up a fuss then.

          By the way I think Ferrari are the dark horses for the championship in 2022. Let’s see what happens? Are you a Leclerc or Sainz fan or maybe both?

          1. Actually, @john-h, I like Leclerc better, but without a doubt Sains surprised me positively.
            I hope that Ferrari actually present Machinery so that they can shine higher, in a championship that I hope will be very competitive, with great fights throughout the Championship.

            Come 2022, get those engines roaring……

  39. Lewis should just step aside and let the younger generation shine. Russel would not have let the championship be decided at the last race like lewis did and probably secure it with races left.

    1. @f1fan-2000

      Russel would not have let the championship be decided at the last race like lewis did

      On what authority do you make that assumption?
      – It wasn’t Lewis who let their first points-scoring opportunity of the year slide by crashing into a slow Bottas.
      – It wasn’t Lewis who let their first points-scoring opportunity of last year slide by crashing under the safety car.

      Russell is a great driver, and thoroughly deserved the praise he got this year – but he isn’t flawless, in exactly the same way that Hamilton wasn’t flawless this year.

      There’s no way of knowing whether or not Russell would have done any better when the margins are so small.

      1. You waste precious energy on those who hear voices in their head.

        1. But semproman is right. Russell is overrated. Pretty good qualifyer but poor racecraft.

          His brief Merc stint last year showed he can be better than Lewis. Well, same goes for the rest of the grid, except for Valtteri and maybe Nikita.

  40. Its not childish. Its the principle. Why attend a gala where trophies are handed out for a manipulated race winner. Its clear bending of the rules, breaking of the rules, circumventing of the rules, making up rules, just plain cheating by the very people that should be ensuring the rules are not any of the above. So its within their rights to not attend in protest of the outcome of the illegal decision that was allowed and sustained by the the fia.

  41. I think Lewis will want to race next season. If he wins the WDC next year then that’s a WDC in 3 different eras. Plus I think he knows there is a little bit of a question mark over if he’s been winning some of the championships because of having a mediocre team mate (Bottas). If he wins next year, then he’ll have shut a lot of those people up, since Russell is quite highly rated at the moment. Sure he is probably hurting a bit at the moment, but once he seriously thinks about it, he will want to win 2022 and then possibly finish if he achieves that since that would be a real high for him to go out on.

    1. Oh and another thought. If I’m wrong and he does quit, who exactly do Merc get to drive instead of him at such short notice? De Vries? Hulk? Jenson Button? :D

      1. @t1redmonkey

        Ocon –> Merc
        Piastri –> Alpine

      2. Yep, senproman is right.

  42. I hope he won’t!

  43. Understand how HAM feels robbed this year, but regardless of stewarding he wouldn’t like loosing – which is fair enough!

    We need to look at the context. He’s had the last few years (since ROS
    retired) with a slow (in the races) team mate and a fast car. Not much competition..

    Wolff and HAM had got used to having it their way. Not winning, however it happened, was going to hurt. A good percentage of their pain is just about loosing – not the manner of how it happened.

  44. I think on balance he should attend according to the sporting regs, however I can kind of see why he hasn’t too seen as said regulations don’t seem to mean that much anymore. Bit of an odd one, as much as I’m a supporter of Lewis I think he should be there. He did the right thing on the podium and congratulating Max (I think we saw at Saudi when the boot is on the other foot Max didn’t bother). However, yep I kinda hoped he would go if I’m honest.

    1. Just to add, I wonder if he will take one year’s sabbatical then come back in 2023 for one last hurrah? I can’t see him retiring, but that option I maybe could see happening.

      1. @john-h i doubt it and really hope he doesn’t do that either. I imagine that if he leaves Formula 1, he’ll instantly turn his focus on other areas and interests. Certainly he won’t be running a YouTube channel driving around next year’s tracks ion a sim.

      2. Hamilton doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. You either enjoy it or you don’t. An 8th title doesn’t mean anything because if “Made for TV” people want it, they can arrange a new greatest in the next 8 years.

  45. Hamilton leaving under these circumstances will hurt the FIA more, i think. Normally, a decent amount of attention is given to drivers on their way out, Kimi for example and Alonso previously. Even more so, someone like Hamilton, his background, his challenges and also being the first of his culture to be in the sport and the impact he has made. By no means perfect he still, for me, is one of best drivers i’ve seen and it would be terrible if he left under this cloud.

    But it’s up to him, we’ll see what happens when March’22 draws closer…

    1. @icarby

      Hamilton leaving under these circumstances will hurt the FIA more

      How much motorsport press have you read outside of the British press? How many non-English motorsport forums have you frequented in the past days?

      If you are not personally invested in the matter the whole safety-car issue is minor and it boils down to how much freedom the race director has to make split-second decisions. My impression is that the general feeling is that the split-second decision may not have been totally correct, but also not way out of order. Things like this happen in football all the time. The German Auto Motor and Sport even commented that Ferrari and McLaren had more reason to protest than Mercedes.

      Hamilton will already be losing sympathy for being a sore loser, if he retires because of this, the over-whelming sentiment around the world will be “good riddance”. It will have little to no impact on the FIA.

      I also don’t think Masi’s position is in danger. It seems the teams are quite happy with him, Andreas Seidl from McLaren said so yesterday. This whole affair simply isn’t a big issue.

      1. Sympathy does not win you races or championships.

      2. it boils down to how much freedom the race director has to make split-second decisions.

        That and similar statements that try to let Masi off for his actions. He only had to calmly run through the procedure as he did at Eifel. No stress, no drama and certainly no split second decisions on how to deal with the safety car.

      3. @uzsjgb – What I read forum wise is irrelevant. Wolff eluded to Hamilton potentially leaving the sport and being dissolutioned. If he leaves, the final moments of the 2021 season final race would’ve played a significant part more so how the race director behaved.

        We should be talking more about Max and RBR winning headlines, globally, are dominated by the actions of the FIA. This has nothing to do with what sort of “loser” Hamilton is, infact he conducted himself admirably.

        And i vehemently disagree, this whole affair is a massive issue.

  46. I think 2016 hurt Hamilton, he likely felt like he outperformed Rosberg that year, but suffered the brunt of bad luck. But as a sportsman I’d imagine he can live with the fact luck plays a part, so he came back more consistent than he’d ever been.

    But this year, that wasn’t just luck it was a decision to throw out fair contest. I could well imagine him not having the same fire to come back and prove himself when there is always the lingering doubt that it matters how he performs because at some point the people in charge just decide he’s a character in a show and they are going to act unpredictably to manipulate the story.

    As a fan of his, I’ve seen Hamilton lose out in 2007, 2012, and 2016. And sure I’ll weigh into the debate about it being luck that’s kept it from him those years, but I’ve never felt any bitterness about it. It’s all part of the fun of the sport. This though, this was gross, and if they just want to toy with competitors for the sake of a show rather than being sporting then I don’t know if I’ll still have love for it.

  47. Conspiracy theories abound because there is so much material to work with, from the aero rule changes effecting only Mercedes and Aston, the poor stewarding demonstrated in Silverstone and Brazil, deal making between Masi and RedBull during a race, silly track limit changes, being pushed into new tests for rear wings, the dangerous ignoring of poor driving standards, and then the farce of Abu Dhabi.

    I hope that Mercedes have withdrawn the appeal (which I think they had a good chance of winning) because they now believe that it will lead to vital hard changes in stewarding and race direction: firm clear rules which are applied fairly and consistently; stewards not automatically dismissing challenges; de-emphisising ‘the show’ and get back to an understanding that the show is improved with good fair challenging racing; putting Liberty and its endless search for novelty (and dubious ‘polling’) to attract new audiences in a box. They carry much of the responsibility for this change of culture.

    I do, however, prefer Hamilton and Wolff attend the gala to show their quality and integrity, but I guess they want to show that they can ignore the rules as much as any other team. The mess F1 is in needs extraordinary measures.

    1. You forgot Jeddah and the assault on our sensibilities.
      Jeddah was the fortune teller that predicted Abu Dhabi. We were not shocked.

    2. Um, the intent of the aero changes for 2021 was NOT directed at Merc and/or Aston. The intent was to help alleviate some load on the tires so they would not blowout like we saw in 2020. The result of the change negatively impacted cars designed with less rake which many teams did not anticipate this. This change was also at the request of Pirelli because they make a crap tire.

      Though, if the impact of these aero changes didn’t take place. I doubt we would have seen such a closely contested season between RBR and Merc. So there is that too.

  48. If Hamilton retires now after this debacle in the desert it will devastate F1 as a business and a sport. A vote of no-confidence from a seven times champion – all those you new followers will receive a message that F1 is on a par with professional wrestling.

    I do hope the F1 investigation is energetic and immediate and comprehensive and demonstrably so. Otherwise disaster looms and the Liberty who have pushed this ‘show’ mentality will lose big, and the sport will say goodbye to new manufacturers coming in with their billions.

  49. Anyone remember when the Monaco clerk of the course cut the race short by two laps at Prost’s request to make sure he won. They wanted to stop Senna (Who was 10 seconds a lap quicker in the wet), from catching and overtaking the hero Prost.

  50. Maybe its better if we forget the whole V6Hybrid regulatory era and dont see Wolff nor Lewis return. It is an good time for it. Excellent timing in fact. So many young talents with Charles, Lando, Sainz, George and Max. New cars. All ingredients are there. We might actually get a decent season without all the shady Mercedes politics

    1. If the full corporation of Mercedes pulls out there will be 3 teams without an engine 4 if the current f1 team is sold and not closed.

      Who will?

      1. Who will supply the engines?

  51. So Mercedes have been bought off too.
    Hamilton should quit.
    I am> No more f1 circus for me. It is as bad as the local wrestlers chatting about the get together at the weekend while they are wrestling.
    No more time wasting to see who will win, it has already been decided.
    ByeBye F1

    1. I mistakenly reported your post while trying to reply

  52. I mistakenly reported this post.

    I think Mercedes can go to court and grind F1 to a hault for some months, but they know it is the only work for lots of individuals in other teams unconnected to their issue. So for the interest of others they will not proceed.

  53. He’s not walking away. At least not this season.

    Imagine how much of a total butthurt he would look if he flounced off in a huff. What a rubbish way to end the career of one of the greatest drivers of all time.

    Talk about a way to burn your own legacy. Yes, Masi made a mess and it cost Lewis the title, but you know what else cost him the title?, Knocking on his ‘brake magic’ at Baku. Sliding off the road at Imola. Only qualifying 7th at Monaco. A strategy blunder in Turkey.

    Twists, turns and external factors happen over a season. Sometimes you luck in, such as being able to change your tyres under a red flag and it hands you the race, Sometimes it goes the other way and costs you it. Yes it’s painful, It shouldn’t have happened, but it’s one moment over the season.

    Likewise if it went the other way, Max could have pointed at the tyre failure at Baku, the incidents with Hamilton at Silverstone and Monza….etc etc. Things happen over a season.

    If he was to win the title next year, maybe he calls it redemption and walks away on top with 8. Maybe he wants to go for 10?, A lot will likely come down to how much he likes the new cars, if they are more raceable and how competitive Mercedes are… Maybe he doesn’t like the new cars, doesn’t win again and decides that’s it for him, who knows right now. But as it stands, He’s still at the top of his game, winning races and fighting for titles and setting new records. One setback isn’t going to send him packing and make him look like he couldn’t take losing.

  54. I hope he comes back next year. Max and Lewis are in a class of their own. This F1 year was awesome.

    So, bring it on!

  55. Whoaaaah, those drama really bores me.
    Hey, he’s not the only one who have lost.
    What have felt Massa when Lewis won ?
    did Massa left ?
    What have felt Alonso ?
    What have felt Vettel ?
    What have felt Rosberg ?
    What have felt all the driver who have lost before him ?

    Every driver, every driver who race knows that there’s only one place on the top.
    So, you have 19/20 chance to fail.

    “Hamilton will quit”.
    Well, quit.

    I’m tired of emotional manipulation .
    Like the “it’s dangerous driving” when Checo were defending.

    Ah, hey !
    Everyone wanted fight, there have been fight.

    Everyone was whining there were no pass, there have been pass.

    This drama is all theater.
    Toto wasn’t looking really sad and deprimed on his party on sunday night

    This is just ridiculous.

    Is it grown men, or kindergarten ?

  56. I hope the rumors of Lewis not continuing are untrue. I think Lewis has more in the tank and the sport would be better with him here. If true, best of luck for his future and he’s left with a monumental legacy with the likes of Schuey and Senna. Not a big Lewis fan, but respect to all that you have achieved as you’ve proven to be one of the greats in F1 history.

    Now, I understand that was a tough way to lose out on a title. But Toto, you really sound like a petty entitled 3 year old brat after a kid stole your toy dinosaur. Stop this victim hood Olympics and all this drama. We get it, your upset. Its understandable. Grow up! Tired of these cry baby Team Principles (Horner, your no better). Sorry, my 3 year old self is done done ranting now!

  57. Lewis should get out, at 36 he’s a golden Oldie with the best track record yet. Leave the kids to play with the cars the way the media wants. At the end of the day, I need to find something else to do almost every other Sunday afternoon of the year. Grab a beer or 2, then concentrate on the Helis and high power valve amps that are awaiting further attention I guess.

  58. Simple rule revisions. No working on cars during red flag. Lapped cars unlap themselves on yellow. Race cannot end on yellow instead there will be 2 laps of racing to the finish after the SC pulls in.
    If Hamilton wants to quit and take his 8 balls and knighthood and stomp out, let him. Next season we’ll have the Max and George show. Hamilton as an aging F1 pilot might not want to compete with all the young lions.

  59. I think it’s worth saying that Hamilton’s behaviour post race has been admirable.

    He could have made a huge issue out of the fact that things were IMO handled pretty poorly, but instead has gone quiet and not participated in the media storm, choosing instead to say nothing.

    That to me is a sign of a true champion. I wish him the best and hope he comes back stronger and more determined next season.

    Congratulations to him for not acting out.

  60. I’ve got more sympathy for Masi than I do for Wolff. I’ve seen a whole heck of lot more disgraceful things happen in motorsport than what we saw last Sunday, including Mercedes crashing their way to the DTM title.

    Anyone surprised that the entertainment factor has taken hold of the priority list hasn’t been paying attention much.

  61. Lewis will return, the 2022 cars will wipe the floor of the competition.

    Max with forever be remembered as the maFIA asterisk wdc

  62. Willem Wunderink
    17th December 2021, 6:28

    The general idea here is that Max ‘stole’ the championship from Lewis: nothing less true than that!
    Whilst Mercedes is trying to ‘win’ by digging in rules and trying to influence the marshalls and race director and demoralize competition by all sorts of psychological games and trics, Red Bull and Max have beaten them by perfect RACING.
    Many people, Wolff included, forget that it’s the motor sport what it’s all about; Michael Masi needed to remind him of that when Wolff was wining once more during the race.
    If Max would have lost, it was because he was knocked off the track twice by Mercedes, without any penalty that did Mercedes any harm at all.
    As Jean Todt said at the Champion Ceremony:
    “I think he gets what he deserves. He had a good season. It’s human, you know, to focus on the last lap. It is true that he was very lucky on the last lap. But you should see the whole season. Was he lucky at Silverstone? Was he lucky in Azerbaijan? Was he lucky in Budapest? He was not, you know…”

  63. I feel this season was a valuable lesson for Lewis. He found out you actually have to race to get victories. His fans were all shocked there was some-one fighting back as well, instead of the processional overtakes as a result of significant overspeed. You saw Lewis improving through the season. He was so rusty from 7 years cruising, he almost had to learn from scratch again how to go wheel to wheel. Massive respect he stepped up his game. Although his comments on Perez during the last race do make you wonder whether he clearly understand what they are supposed to do out there. The entitlement is still there.

  64. I heard both Toto and Lew will spend the next 25 seasons snail-racing at Timbuktu

    Godspeed to both and let the fastest one win

  65. Racing Incident
    22nd December 2021, 17:53

    He’s definitely gonna look forward and beat the Dutchman in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

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