Is Hamilton really having second thoughts about his F1 future after Abu Dhabi debacle?

2021 F1 season

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Following Lewis Hamilton’s no-show at last week’s FIA prizegiving event, the sport’s governing body faces the question of how to respond to his breach of protocol.

Formula 1’s sporting regulations require drivers who finish in the top three positions in the championship to attend the ceremony, which took place in Paris on Thursday. It’s therefore up to the new team at the FIA, headed by newly-elected president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, to decide whether to punish Hamilton.

But will they still have a driver to punish when the new season rolls around? More than a week has passed since Hamilton’s shock defeat by Max Verstappen following a controversial restart on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which prompted a furious response from his Mercedes team, and almost saw the outcome of the title-deciding race go to an appeal hearing. Nothing has been heard from Hamilton since his parting words ahead of the podium ceremony nine days ago.

“Firstly a big congratulations to Max and to his team,” Hamilton began. I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, all the men and women we have and here have worked so hard this whole year. It’s been the most difficult of seasons and I’m so proud of them and so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.

Safety Car, Yas Marina, 2021
Analysis: The four minutes that changed the destiny of the 2021 world championship
“We gave it everything. This last part of the season, we gave it absolutely everything and we never gave up – that’s the most important thing.”

“I’ve been feeling great in the car this past couple of months, particularly at the end,” he added. “If I’m honest, we’re still in the pandemic and I just wish for everyone to stay safe and have a good Christmas with all their families and we’ll see about next year.”

As he hasn’t said anything publicly since then, those final five words in particular have invited over-interpretation. Is he so embittered by the way events turned against him on the final two laps in Abu Dhabi that he is preparing to call time on his F1 career?

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Some 26 million Instagram followers and nearly 7m more on Twitter have been waiting to hear something else from him but so far haven’t heard anything at all. “P2 on the front row tomorrow, not bad since I prefer the battle,” he signed off on social media ahead of the race. Does he still prefer the battle, or has he lost faith in the FIA’s ability to ensure a fair fight?

Report: F1’s midfield runners left “speechless” and confused by controversial late restart
His comment on the radio as Verstappen led him to the chequered flag indicated the depth of his despair as the race he had led all day – and with it, the championship – was wrenched from his grasp on the final tour: “This is getting manipulated, man!”

Hamilton hasn’t disappeared completely since the Abu Dhabi race. He was pictured by Mercedes, smiling on his post-season return to the factory (top) to congratulate the team on its eighth consecutive constructors championship win. But in the days that led up to that the team made it clear how furious they were over the call by race control which swung the title fight.

Within a few hours of the race ending Mercedes protested the outcome, lost it, and served notification of their intention to appeal. They eventually stepped back from that course of action, though team principal Toto Wolff made it clear this was not because they expected to lose, but because they did not believe a courtroom victory would restore Hamilton’s lost championship.

In the past Hamilton has been reluctant to get involved in protests, even telling Mercedes to drop one against Verstappen at Suzuka five years ago. On this occasion, according to Wolff, he and the team were in lockstep over the decision to initially pursue and then drop an appeal bid.

“Every step of the way it was joint decisions,” Wolff explained. “We decided together with Lewis to protest, to launch the appeal and to withdraw the appeal.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021
Hamilton’s father consoled him after shock last-lap defeat
“As you can imagine, not only for him but also for us as a team, it was terrible to be confronted with a decision that decided the outcome of the world championship. But nobody of us, neither him or us, want to win a world championship in the courtroom.

“But, on the other side, we were deeply wronged on Sunday, and it wasn’t just a case of a bad call, it was freestyle reading of the rules and it left Lewis like a sitting duck.”

When he spoke to media last week, Wolff cast doubt on Hamilton’s eagerness to return. “I’m in a daily dialogue with him but also respect that there is not a lot to talk about at the moment. Each of us copes in their own way with the feelings that we have at the moment.

“I just need to do the utmost that I can to help him to overcome these imminent feelings that he has in order for him to return strong with a love of the sport and trust in the decision-making of the sport next year. And we wish very much that this would be the case.”

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Hamilton’s future was a matter of uncertainty just 12 months ago: He ended the season without a deal to race in 2021. A one-year extension was eventually inked in February. Less than five months later, Hamilton and Mercedes announced a new deal to keep him at the team until the end of 2023.

Comment: Call F1’s championship finale tainted, but not its deserving new champion
Having re-committed to F1 twice in the course of the past calendar year, it’s hard to believe Hamilton’s devotion to the sport has been irrevocably shattered by a single action, however wronged he might have been. Sowing a little doubt over his future – for example, by un-following F1 on Instagram – is a well-aimed reminder to all concerned of both his star power and the team’s desire to see the FIA’s review of the Abu Dhabi debacle “not only come up with words, but actually with actions”, as Wolff put it.

But when the time comes to return to the fight, have no doubt Hamilton will pick up his helmet again. The driver who carries the words of Maya Angelou’s inspirational, defiant poem ‘Still I Rise’ has made perseverance in the face of adversity his mantra, and is surely not about to let this setback deter his pursuit of a record eighth world championship.

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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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124 comments on “Is Hamilton really having second thoughts about his F1 future after Abu Dhabi debacle?”

  1. My best guess is that the thought probably crossed his mind, but I doubt he would want to bow out on this note. Leave now and he looks like he quit as soon as there was a bit of adversity after a long winning streak, and doing so would tarnish his image and support those who say he’s not so great, he’s just had the best car for an unusually long period of time. The best way to overcome what he might perceive as an unfair result and prove himself is coming back and winning in 2022.

    1. @f1hornet Agreed. Personally I will be shocked if he leaves F1 now. That doesn’t seem to be an LH thing to do, and I fully expect him to be raring to go as usual at the start of next season. He can’t answer to what happened a few weekends ago by leaving, and as well leaving his chance to beat his shared number of WDCs with MS at 7. How often is a Champion going to have a chance for an 8th title? Personally I don’t think anyone will ever get 7+ again as I just don’t think F1 going forward is designed for such a dominant run by any one team and therefore driver. Well, I’ll rephrase that…I can see a driver getting that many WDCs over a career, but not by having such a dominant car for 5+ straight years ala LH and MS. As per F1’s new direction, imho the driver is going to play a bigger role than he has in years, even though of course the car is still going to be the majority ingredient. That sure bodes well for Max.

      1. @robbie, agreed, although as I’ve stated many times, it was hardly his, or Mercedes fault that they remained dominant for so long.
        RBR in particular made a real hash of bringing new cars pretty much every season until this one and no team, no matter how good the driver, can give up the first half of a season trying to get their car issues sorted and hope to win.
        I accept that they were certainly hindered for most of that period by Renault’s abysmal PU, but they certainly contributed.
        Ferrari too seemed to manage to shoot them selves in the foot every year, even when they had a car that was competitive.

        I kinda feel for Lewis – if he stayed active in public at the moment, he’d be hounded by media people asking him “how it feels” and for his “opinion” on the final race which I think would just have led to an avalanche of “sore loser” type stuff. I suspect saying nothing is probably his best option right now, and expect him to come back next year more determined than ever.

        If the new cars, combined with budget caps, provide the sort of competition we’re hoping for, we’ll hopefully see a similar fight for the championship next year, hopefully without the “controversy” that kinda spoiled what should have been a great season this year.

        1. @dbradock Yeah fair comment. Fully understandable for LH to feel deflated, but I’m sure he’ll rebound and always is mindful how lucky he is overall, not to mention grateful.

          I’m so stoked for next year, such an unknown it is right now. Where will the teams stand, which drivers will adapt better to the new cars, will they even like the feel of them, and will lesser cars be in there much more often too, all without the dirty air effect etc etc. Safe to assume whoever is in the fight for the titles next year, Max and LH will be among them.

          Overall I’m grateful we have F1 and this new entity that has taken the ball and run, as you know imho, in the right direction with it for the vastly most part. Yeah it’s always a work in progress and of course they have work to do, and that’s the story and the history of F1.

      2. How can you say schumacher had a dominant car for 5 years straight? 2000 mclaren is considered the marginally best car, and even if it’s not, I think everyone would consider them matched, 2001 is dominant in 2019 mercedes fashion, you had cars that could win on merit but not compete for championship, 2002 and 2004 are ofc dominant, and 2003 there was a great 3-way team fight.

        This looks like 3 dominant years, doesn’t it?

        As for hamilton I would say 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, so not straight but I don’t see a way to say those 5 weren’t dominant, for the others there was enough of a battle.

      3. @robbie I was surprised you said both hamilton and schumacher had 5+ dominant seasons, as per my earlier comment, surely you don’t consider the 2000 and 2003 ferraris dominant, do you?

    2. Yeah, I also rather expect Hamilton to come into the next season telling the world how he feels the anger from this setback will fuel a championship fight coming into it even better than before @f1hornet.

    3. is coming back and winning in 2022.

      It should be noted that that is far from the guaranteed outcome.

      Imagine coming back to frozen PUs with Honda and maybe even Ferrari on par with Mercedes.

      Imagine a Brackley car being another Brackley car.

      Imagine the lack of quick fixes thanks to the cost cap.

      And imagine a different teammate whose data you’ve probably had a look in on whenever he did work with the team.

      1. Have you seen the engines in Abu Dhabi

  2. “But, on the other side, we were deeply wronged on Sunday, and it wasn’t just a case of a bad call, it was freestyle reading of the rules and it left Lewis like a sitting duck.”

    The sitting duck part is purely Mercedes responsibility. Its is getting time Wolff acknowledges this strategic choice created the sitting duck part.
    Of course the choices for RedBull were way easier as they had nothing to lose. But it reamined still a strategic choice by the Mercedes team.
    Now the grieving is over and the reality kicks in its time to put things straight.
    Masi created the circumstances but Mercedes made the choice to keep a driver out on 40 laps old worn tires against a driver with soft tires.

    Masi was very creative with the rules but if they did as Vettel suggested and let the lapped cars by one lap earlier the end result would have been the same. (within current rules)
    When the SC came out Mercedes had 6 corners to make a strategic choice… they gambled on a race ending under SC and they lost.
    Wrong gamble so stop putting all the blame on masi!!

    1. Mercedes gambled on there not being time for the race to restart. And there wasn’t time for the race to restart according to the rules. But the race restarted anyway. It was no mistake of Mercedes’.

      1. And there wasn’t time for the race to restart according to the rules.

        There was, as i pointed out in the Vettel statement.
        Btw if rules are really broken is not yet decided. Masi used the rule that gives him the right to adapt. So unclear rules okay.. but broken still is in court ( or better a commission)
        But however.. its still a gamble and a bad one for that.

        1. the rules were broken to gift the wcd to verstappen. simple as that

          1. They were broken to provide an entertaining final lap. I don’t think Masi was deliberately trying to make Verstappen champion, although that is what happened.

          2. He won on track with a excellent pass..
            Maybe you missed that detail during your toddler tantrum

          3. Nop.
            As long as there is a rule allowing Massi to do what he did.
            No rule was broken.

          4. @Aris there is no rule allowing Masi to do what he did. The FIA’s bogus use of article 15.3 is painful to see. There’s no way they could pull that off if they had external oversight from the CAS, for example.

          5. @erikje
            Your statement is accurate as far as it goes. He won on track with an excellent pass.

            It would also be true to add:

            Following an application of the rules that I doubt anyone else – either in the sport, or in these forums – would have applied in that manner.

        2. @erikje

          There was, as i pointed out in the Vettel statement.

          No there wasn’t. One driver’s opinion doesn’t make it a fact.

          1. That’s not what I said. It was about the opportunity. Several drivers noticed this and they were the ones who could know.

          2. @erikje there was not an opportunity to do so.

            Several drivers noticed this and they were the ones who could know.

            That’s laughably wrong and you know it. Drivers only have a view of one part of the track, specifically the bit around their own car. It needs full overview of the situation, especially whether marshals are back in position and ready to respond to another incident. That’s something no driver can know.

        3. Masi knew what the rules are, he quoted them in the Eifel in 2020.
          ““There’s a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past,” Masi said at the time.”

      2. I don’t think Mercedes had any choice even if they knew there will be a restart. Pitting Lewis would Max stay out as his tyres weren’t that old and it wasn’t sure Lewis would overtake Max in the last lap as the tyre difference was not that great.

      3. Oh, thank you erikje. Finally some common sense instead of blaming others for the strategic blunder.
        Besides, Mercedes made the sitting duck call and knew they lost. Only later the controversial call was made on which Mercedes build their blame game.

    2. Can you explain at which point Hamilton could have pitted for new tyres and got out ahead of Verstappen?

      1. Why did he need to be in front?
        He had a better car as always.
        When the race would restart he could get his chances and pass.

        1. You saw qualifying?

          1. You know qualifying doesn’t always correspond to the race in performance? In fact this year many times mercedes has been performing better in the race and red bull in quali, probably because of red bull being faster on softs in general and merc on hard.

        2. 1. Vertsappen’s tyres weren’t that old. So not necessarily a big tyre advantage if Hamilton had pitted
          2. Verstappen has shown himself to push or exceed the limit of the rules when wheel to wheel with other drivers so a lot of risk if having to overtake to win
          3. If the rules had been applied as written it would have almost certainly have finished behind the safety car

          It looks like Mercedes made the right call with what was in front of them at the time.

        3. Because he had EARNED that position in front of Verstappen over the previous 57 laps…?

        4. Why are you (and others who hold the same view) sure the race would have restarted in that case? Were you talking to Masi as well?

      2. In fact there were two options max pitted and Lewis did not.
        The VSC just a few laps before the Latifi incident was an option and the moment they knew the SC was called out.
        Of course a risk, no denying that, but the team was ready in the pits with the medium tire. Probably Verstappen would not have pitted then and the situation would have been reversed.
        So a very normal but risky call. No they gambled on something they could not manage ( even if Toto tried that)
        A bad strategy in hindsight. But the reason lewis lost… not Masi!!

        1. So you judge strategy calls based on hindsight? Yep

          Not putting under VSC was 100% the right call given Lewis was a long way ahead at the point of Latifi’s crash.

          But you’ve got a few more bites for your collection so well played

          1. Problems with discussion i see.
            Mercedes did take a strategic decision. They decided not to pit ( although Lewis asked for it! He knew the consequences of a SC in that stage)
            They had two options: pitting and put lewis on brand new tires or not pitting an keep Lewis out on old worn tires against a competitor with almost new soft tires.
            Of course they would have lost track position doing so.. but now they made Hamilton a sitting duck and that made them really look stupid.
            Of course in hindsight ( as are all replys on this site if you did not noticed)
            They screwed up and Toto knew immediately and tried to put the blame on Masi. Hence his embarrassing behavior.
            A lot of misinformed people like you fall for that.. i get that..
            But in a few months you will see i am right.
            Mourning takes time.

      3. At any moment during the VSC and he would have kept the position.

    3. I see you’re still rabidly anti-Mercedes and Hamilton. Nice to know some things are dependable.

      Speaking of dependable, the Mercedes strategy team based their strategy, not on hindsight, but on the rules, and on precedent.

      Neither of which were followed.

      I’m sorry your blinders won’t allow you to see that, but had Masi followed his own rulebook, not to mention his quote from the Eifel Grand Prix in 2020, “There’s a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past”, then Mercedes made exactly the right call.

      1. I am trying to balance the stupid things said about Masi against the stupid strategy errors Mercedes made. And of course the embarrassing behavior by Toto.
        I am not anti Hamilton ( only his constant moaning gets on my nerves)

        1. erikje

          I am not anti Hamilton

          that’s the funniest thing ever. You are so vehemently anti-Hamilton, everyone on this site knows it.

          1. At least you admit bad reading on your account :)

          2. @erikje another comment of yours based on pure fantasy

      2. In his eyes anything Mercedes does is stupid. Pointless debate.

        1. It was a hard call, but they could’ve gone for it with the VSC, probably slightly lost track position and given the advantage they had, ofc it’s not easy to pass verstappen but it was a possibility. And there was a real likelihood the race restarted and would not end behind the SC, both me and my father said so before it happened, and we’ve been watching for several years, it’s simply not nice to have the last race of such a championship battle end behind the SC, mercedes could’ve made the reasoning too.

    4. @erikje

      Masi was very creative with the rules

      No. He broke them pure and simple. Hamilton’s loss is directly Masi’s fault and anyone in their right mind can see it.

      But then, that wouldn’t fit your ongoing narrative of putting Mercedes and Hamilton down at every opportunity, would it?

      1. He used the rules to regain racing as soon a possible.
        It’s a race… Is that you toto?

        1. @erikje He BROKE the rules to regain racing as soon a possible. FTFY

          1. Nope, as the stewards already stated.

          2. yes, as everybody was able to witness

  3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    21st December 2021, 17:54

    I’m honestly surprised people still think any that comes from the top teams in F1 is genuine. Especially Mercedes. This is just another edition to the messive big book of ‘Oh No BoNo mY TyReS’, in an attempt to take positive headlines when he ‘announces’ he’s coming back.

    And people keep falling for it

    1. @barryfromdownunder I agree there may well be an element of drama and headline/attention seeking in this, and that is said understanding fully why they would feel aggrieved.

    2. I think he deserves whatever headlines he wants after the way he lost the championship…

      1. @skipgamer

        There is just a very high ‘boy who cried wolf’ element to this, as we’ve heard this many times. At one point, many people stop taking these statements seriously.

        1. @aapje What statement has he made? Did i miss something?

          1. @shakey66

            If you read the article, it seems that Lewis has been telling Toto that he wants to quit, where the latter is trying to convince Lewis to continue, while also making statements in the media. This seems to be a pattern by now.

            The complaint is as much about the media, as about Mercedes playing this rather typical game (the will-I-or-won’t-I play is a typical way to get free advertising from the media).

            Note that I’m not saying that Lewis isn’t genuine. It’s just the way that this is played out in the media that grates.

          2. @aapje Thanks for explaining, i understand your point now. As you say, it’s more a case of ‘the Wolff that cried Wolf’ and the media whipping it up into a bigger narrative. Sensibly, Lewis is keeping out of it.

    3. Agreed.

      This all just drama.

      I dont like the way the championship ended either. However, these things happen in sport. Dubious calls have lost various teams major tournaments over the years.

  4. His perseverance in front of adversity always coincides with a faster car. His 2009, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2021 intra-season history, as well as, 2007-12 McLaren and 2013-14 Mercedes inter-season spell. From a driving performance point of view this is a quite telling obeservation.

  5. if Lewis stays or goes I don’t care. Lewis was very whiny this year, almost to the point when I wanted him to walk away. Lewis is by far and away the best driver in the hybrid era. is it time for Lewis to step away? I hope not. with the new cars coming next year I want to see what he can do.

    1. Pardon? Do you want him to stay or not?

      1. Obviously, he wants Lewis to stay. Who else would he complain about?

      2. @Charlie

        He clearly wants him to stay as a driver, but without the alleged whining.

    2. Strong words.
      Have to say I agree with almost all of them!

    3. Not sure how many times LH has to prove he’s the GOAT. Karts, F2 and F1 and oh, yeah…the reasonably priced car. Always be doubters, but he can hardly be faulted for driving a Merc – it’s not like fell in the car, had it developed for him by someone else and then just drive the wheels off it. Alonso may have been nearly as quick, but LH made a decision to move to Merc – no one gave him a silver spoon. If the cars are really all lapping within a tenth or two next season, and barring mishaps, he’ll be either winning or not far off his 8th.

    4. The kind of toxic nonsense that we don’t need on this site or anywhere to be honest.

      1. So every comment that doesn’t reflect your opinion is toxic? Waaaaaaaaa. That’s the way of the world, if everyone agreed we would die of boredom. Maybe develop some self esteem, then other peoples opinions won’t matter so much.Toxic? LMAO at the immaturity.

    5. There are drivers that can be fast in anything, Hamilton is not one of them.

      What’s your response to the fact that Lewis has won a race in every F1 season he’s competed in? I believe he’s the only F1 driver on the grid to have achieved that feat. He won races in that dog of a 2009 Mclaren.. that’s really hard to explain without acknowledging the fact that he’s fast in any car he drives.

      At least use some grey matter while making your ridiculous and bashful statements.

      1. So you’re saying that even if Lewis wasn’t in the Mercedes, he would be the dominant driver of the hybrid era? Because that is what I was responding to… If he was paired with Kimi, or Alonso, or Ricciardo for that matter, he would have been none of the sort. HE LOST A FREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP TO NICO FREAKING ROSBERG, for crying out loud. He is one of the better drivers, for sure, but not the best…

    6. So Sore Lew has the 1st season in 5 years where he has to actually fight for the championship and predictably lose and now wants to throw the towel?

      Didn’t he criticised Rosberg for that too?

      At least he retired not because he lost.

      If that’s the case then good riddance.

    7. Ambrogio Isgro
      22nd December 2021, 7:19

      Troll of the day.

      1. Speaking of trolls… How’s your mum?

    8. I think you seeing it wrong Lewis was in 2008 very fast even faster then Alonso Button was only a champion because of the Honda double diffusor while he is a smooth driver i doesn’t rate Jenson very high just a good one not a exeptional one.
      The Mercedes era make it difficult to compare but Nico won once and went away the year after it. And next year we will see how George is doing against Lewis.

    9. Agree. And most people seem to forget hos close 2014 och 2015 was as well. And Rosberg wasn’t famous for being inhumanly quick before he got a Mercedes under him.
      This seems like a good opprortunity for Hamilton to not be embarrased by Russel.
      Few people reflect over the Bahrain-”incident” it seems. Especially Hamilton-fans seem to recognise how badly that really reflected on Hamilton. Russel did exactly the same job in a completely new enviroment and not even fitting in the car.
      I really hope Lewis stays for next year. I want to see it.

  6. He’s sulking.

    But he will be back next year. No doubt about that.

    1. Ham sulking? Seems more like a bunch of kids on Racefans jumping up and down wanting daddy to pay them some attention. And a bunch of reporters and press trying to satisfy their needs with little or nothing to go on. No different to almost all other drivers. He is switched off, and will start thinking about it again after xmas.
      To paraphrase Rosberg when asked ‘It seems he can still control the agenda even when he is not saying anything.’

  7. He will come back with real passion I expect. He will also get over the failure by Mercedes to pit Lewis. Regardless off their reasoning. Hamilton would have pounced on Verstappen as Verstappen did to Hamilton if only had they have brought him into the pits. If they had of managed to clear the wreckage, with Latifi moving as quickly as possible, and clear the lapped cars then Hamilton once again would have been pounced on by Max if they had not of pitted. The race director having the power to dictate the procedure of a safety car procedure to achieve racing again in the quickest manner needs to be noted as it is stated in the rules. The agenda may not be stipulated but the power for the race director to do so is. The rules were followed.

  8. I can imagine Lewis having made the decision to quit in Abu Dhabi if he won the title. Then he looked for 50-odd laps like he would get his fairytale send-off only to be rudely interrupted by reality.

    Is the 2022 Merc good enough to come back? Is George Russell too good?

    Frankly, the only thing this is good for is as fodder for idle speculation.

  9. If he retiresssssss please no. I still want one more chance to try to get another encounter with Lewis. I had the fortune of getting my cap signed by him in Austria 2017 while being swarmed by people LOL.

    I still think Mercedes should have protested with their appeal to make sure the incident at Abu Dhabi is being looked at, and for it to not happen again. We cannot have referees just deciding what rules they want dictator style. If Masi is retained as steward, he better do a SERIOUSLY BETTER JOB in 2022. He has a hard task moving forward, especially if racing becomes better with the new cars.

  10. I think Lewis would have quit after winning his eighth. So, in that case Abu Dhabi would have been an even bigger disappointment. Maybe that’s why he is so silent.

    This is just speculation off course, but nothing wrong with that, right?

  11. I would suspect if Hamilton was going to retire he’d have announced it by now, otherwise Merc have less time to arrange a replacement. He’s just doing what any normal person would do in his position. Turn his phone off and spend time with family.

  12. I’d be hugely surprised if he left for good over Masi’s manipulation.
    I’m 99% positive he’ll see through his two-year commitment.

    1. Stop that manipulation narrative. Masi used the rules to restart the race as soon as possible. That’s why we look at f1: racing.
      Not a ending behind the Sc with a team gambling on such a cowardly end.

      1. @erikje Masi BROKE the rules to restart the race as soon as possible

        1. Nope, as the stewards already stated.
          Do your homework.

          1. yes, as everybody was able to witness

  13. Reminds me of how last year over the winter all anyone could talk about was Hamiltons contract and if he’d be coming back for 2021. It’s just milking the controversy to generate interest. He does deserve to get something out of it atleast.

  14. Hamilton may be quiet now, but he’ll soon make up for it. He won’t be retiring over this.

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Lewis took his seven WDCs and mountain of cash and got on with the rest of his life. He has ambitions beyond F1. Given the unfairness of the decisions made by Masi all season (not just the terrible last one at AD, and not just against LH), I can understand not wanting to compete in that environment. I actually have reservations about investing my time and following F1 next year based on the current state of things (after watching every race, every qualifying, and almost every practice session for the past 16 years). I also have other ambitions and things to do in my life.

    IF the FIA actually do something about the horrendous state of their officiating, then that might entice him to come back. If the FIA sweep it all under the rug and say everything is fine, I can see him walking away.

    1. Agreed plus I cannot see how he can compete with Max’s. ‘Hard’ driving, he tried and could have got them both badly injured ,he found that Max will not give way unless he is told to, attempting a dramatic pass on Max will only end one way . I suggest he leaves it to someone else ,although having said that I don’t wish injury on any other driver.

      1. He obviously is intimidated by max. I agree with that. Probably the reason he did not passed him in Jeddah when Max let him through as requested and notified by masi to Mercedes. ( bono knew it, but forgot to mention it to Lewis)

        1. u r talking about the brake test for which every other driver probably would have got a dsq or race ban?

  16. I’m tired of all this. Lewis is mad at himself for losing WDC. Masi at most cost Lewis a win and 7 points. Lewis cost himself 25 points and a win in Baku by hitting the ‘magic’ button and skidding off the track

    1. masi cost him the championship with this manipulation of the final race result. facts are facts.

      1. Facts are facts, the WDC is won in 22 races , not just one. Magic button = 25 points (or 26), 25/26-0……Lewis pushed that button…final end result…Lewis got beaten again after a little fight from Button, Rosberg and Verstappen….

  17. No.

    Imagine for a second he did walk away. 7x world champion. Do you really think that’s how he wants it to end? Under a cloud? His legacy being walking away in what would look like a huff?, The guy is still at the top of his game, winning races, going into a new era for the sport as still arguably the greatest driver ever to do it still at the peak of his powers.

    Of course he’s disappointed, but that’s racing, sometimes you can do everything right on the day and things fall outside your own powers. Failures, freak incidents and bad decisions either by other drivers or officials. Why would you just give up on a defeat like that when there’s another record within touching distance?.

    If anything, he comes back next year and if he wins and makes it 8 after what happened this year, you could totally understand him basically going ‘point proven, goodbye’. Maybe if the Merc is a dog (which it likely won’t be) or he doesn’t like how they drive in the new regs, he’ll still decide to end it on 7 but at least then he’s not going out looking like a tantrum because somebody else finally won.

    1. If mercedes made a bad car it’d actually give him a chance to prove a quality alonso and schumacher had: the ability to drive a bad car at its limit, I THINK hamilton has this too, there was some hint early on in 2009, but for a driver that raced that long half a season with a bad car is very little.

      1. Reading what the MB engineers have put out the car was pretty bad at the start of the year.

        I think athletes look at results and know if they have really lost or some circumstance caused it.

        Based on Lewis’ comments about feeling better than ever it seems it is not physique that is the problem.

  18. Please, leave Lewis alone.
    Now seriously, can’t he switch off? What is wrong with that? You complain when he bickers at nothing and then complain again when he is being normal.

    1. One of the few times I agree with you. Man says something – people jump on him. Keeps quiet – the same people jump on him as well. That’s probably a mark of greatness in itself.

    2. I don’t mind him being quiet, just saying it’s strange, you can’t say he is being normal if he’s doing something out of character.

      1. Not exactly out of character. He usually goes relatively quiet during the break. But what we haven’t seen this year; which is out of the norm, is his pre-Christmas round of interviews, TV appearances and sponsors events that come with the WDC crown.

  19. Why would Hamilton retire. He had the best car 2021 and as you keep going on about he lost the last race because he was cheated out of it. Not his fault he has had the best car. But he’s not the GOAT. Excellent driver yes. But Vettel. Alonso or Max would have won the Championships In the mercedes. Even Bottas finished 3rd in the championship wouldn’t get into the top 250 best ever drivers. Schumacher or Senna would have beaten Max even on worn tyres. They wouldn’t be moaning on the radio about the race being fixed, the would have been fighting for the lead. Hamilton has had it to easy

  20. Read this out; Had FIA made the right call, one of them would’ve been to let ALL the lapped cars pass with 2 or 3 laps to go. In that scenario, we’d have seen the same result and the same last lap. Mercedes and Lewis are furious (and rightfully so) for how FIA handled it by initially not allowing lapped cars pass and the reversing it.

    If we think calmly about it, it was just an unfortunate turn of event that the Safety Car did come out due to the incident.

    It’s very similar to how unfortunate Massa was in 2008 or Lewis himself in 2007.

    I assume he’ll take his time (and should be given time) and will return.

    1. Lapped cars are only allowed through when the incident is cleared fully. Which happened on the 2nd last lap.

  21. I am a Lewis fan, but F1 being owned by a media company, the rules fiasco, and absolutely no defense from HAM when VER came on the inside, ii mean it was all to shady. why didnt he defend ?

    1. He was offered a lifetime of red bull drinks. Knowing his monster sponsor not illogical.
      But the reality is probably he never expected a pass in that location.
      Not all drivers are capable of making a pass there.

      1. @erikje Mazepin could have made that pass in a Haas with that tyre advantage

        1. Of course ;)

          Well Lewis let the door wide open and forgot to defend., that would help Mazespin

  22. Ironically, It’s the press, fia/liberty and opposing fans that need Hamilton to stay for a year or two. If he does a Kaeparnick. F1 will be further sullied until someone similar comes along. That means less money, interest and a poorer F1. But it seems Hamilton is a genuinely a nice guy and loves F1 and his team, so probably he won’t do it. But…if he is a nasty as his opponents portray him to be, he will drag F1 through the mud, be the real champ pushed out by the nepotism, unfairness and self interest and make boat load on what ever he drags his fans to. The lack of self awareness of f1 and press amazes me, f1 could lose the golden egg.

    1. Golden egg? F1 was fine before Hamilton, and it will be fine without him. There are, by far, more fans that dislike him than like him, so good riddance. i, for one, am tired of hearing the whining anyway.

  23. Normally I’d have got over this by now… no not Hamilton losing but poor decision making by people who are meant to be impartial.

    If they can do this now what “inventive” way can they do it in future championships?

    I guess the irony is that it’s normally F1 teams job to find loop holes in rules to get a performance advantage?

    In this case a loop hole was found to provide drama, cruelty, anger, anguish, controversy, rejoice and dissolution.

    Question is who won? Was it worth it? Do I want to see future championships like this in the future?

    Normally my household hate when F1 comes on, however this season due to the lack of impartiality, my actions towards the t.v , the intrigue of my family seeing what has got me peeved, got them all watching…

    Will Hamilton retire? Wouldn’t blame him if he did, as a sports person myself (or was 😉) there is nothing worse than being on the wrong end of a decision(s) that u-turns the result of hard work, practice, sound tactics, decision making, planning and perfect execution.

    People can go and wallow in the trap of “but ifs” but it has already been stated by a few people that have been involved in motorsport for a considerable length of time that what happened at the end of the final race of a F1 season in a pretty typical sc scenario has never happened before…

  24. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    22nd December 2021, 10:17

    He’s human and needs a bit of space to get his head straight after what must have been a devastating moment in his career. I’m sure he will be back and very hungry to win to prove a point when the pain has subsided.

    Christ I got screwed over in an online league race I was winning and I sulked for a week haha, so I think it’s fair to say he has reason to want a bit of space.

  25. You could tell unlike other title defeats, he looked seriously sad after the race and at the podium. And I doubt at that point he had a complete picture of the stretched safety car rulling that went on.

    1. But already during the last lap, after he was passed the moaning about “manipulation” started.

      1. the ‘this is getting manipulated, man’ radio was before the restart. and manipulated it got.

  26. Lewis has always been one to the most sportsmanlike figures in racing, but quitting now would look like he couldn’t handle losing. In my opinion, skipping the prize ceremony seems immature as well. I hope Hamilton is better than that.

  27. Racing Incident
    22nd December 2021, 18:00

    He’s staying.

  28. As a Sportsman would Lewis want to stay in something that has turned into non Sport?

  29. Jose Lopes da Silva
    22nd December 2021, 19:11

    He’s staying, of course. But this is a nice speculation article.
    Anyway, F1 survived the loss of Senna, so, in the hipotetical chance of watching Hamilton go, I would immediately start to imagine who would replace him at Mercedes and how it would fare against Russell, and so on.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      22nd December 2021, 19:12

      Needless to say, I genuinely want him to stay. An Hepta-champion racing is quite rare to watch.

  30. Simple reality is the race was rigged – plain and simple. It is noting more than sponsored by a gambling company “Poker Stars “who is owned by Flutter Entertainment – who own amongst others Sportsbet, FoxBet, Skybet – the list goes one – indeed Flutter notes in its official blurb that people have “migrated from sports to gaming”. What does that tell you?? I think the fix is in.

    Now Sulayem makes a statement about rules and how they apply to Hamilton being a no show at the end of year bash- what about Massi – as an Australian I say a px on him.

    At the end of the day F1 is a dying sport – Formula E – if they get their act together is the future – I would fully support Hamilton, Toto Wolfe and Mercedes giving the finger to the F1 joke and just walk away

    F1 needs the likes of Merc, Renault and Ferrari more then they need F1

    Here is a thought – perhaps F1 and Indy car can merge and run until fuel is no more – or perhaps they can run a kit builders championship – get rid of the drivers and have true random races !

  31. … he’s not answering his phone! If you please, somebody in close proximity, anybody in the neighborhood of Lewis Hamilton, would you be so kind as to perform a welfare check, knock on his door, make certain he’s okay? Every indication lends us to believe Lewis may be having a nervous breakdown. We fear he may be suicidal –

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