Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

“Now I’m back” – Hamilton breaks social media silence

2022 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has given his first indication that he will continue to race in Formula 1 this year after breaking his social media silence following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion has made no public statement on the late Safety Car restart that saw FIA race director Michael Masi only allowed five lapped cars between him and championship rival Max Verstappen to unlap themselves before the final lap restart of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap to win the race and claim the drivers’ title.

Hamilton congratulated Verstappen in parc ferme after the race and spoke in front of TV cameras immediately after the chequered flag, but then left the circuit and has not made any public comment on the events at the end of the race since then. The Mercedes driver also unfollowed every account he had previously followed on Instagram and had not made a single post on social media since the incident.

On Saturday evening, Hamilton broke his social media silence on Instagram, posting a photograph of him at the Grand Canyon in the United States with the caption “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!”.

It is the strongest indication yet that the seven-time world champion does intend to return to the grid to compete in this year’s world championship. While under contract with Mercedes for 2022, team principal Toto Wolff had admitted in the aftermath of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he was uncertain whether Hamilton would choose to continue racing following the controversial finish.

“I would very much hope that Lewis continues racing, because he is the greatest driver of all time,” Wolff 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.”

The FIA is currently conducting an investigation into the events surrounding the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Led by the FIA secretary general for sport, Peter Bayer, the inquest’s findings will be presented to the FIA’s F1 Commmission later this month, before the FIA will announce its “final decisions” at the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 18th March, the Friday before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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150 comments on ““Now I’m back” – Hamilton breaks social media silence”

  1. I can not understand why anyone wouldn’t want Lewis to keep racing.
    He is still more than young and fit enough to keep on fighting and cementing his place in F1 history.

    1. Anything less than a “Leclerc over Vettel” and I’ll be disappointed on Russell. You bet I’m happy Lewis continues racing.

      1. Hakk The Rack
        6th February 2022, 16:11

        I bet we are going to face Schumacher Vs Barrichello. Remember, than back then, Barrichello was a new Senna.

        1. Not in the eyes of the rest of the world as your comment is the first i heard that. But i heard that when they were speaking of Massa.

          1. Barrichello was highly rated and many expected him to challenge Schumacher which he was only able to do very occasionally.

    2. It’s just tiresome attention seeking from F1’s greatest ever drama queen.

      1. Double threat. GEDQ and GOAT

      2. He is a bit of a Drama queen @joshgeake I totally agree.
        He also happens to be a remarkably talented racing driver so if he wants to ham it up (pun intended) for the audience then that is fine with me.

        I don’t have to like the guy’s personality in order to admire his work ;)

        1. I absolutely agree. On the other hand, criticism goes with the territory. When someone is very opinionated and expressing every thought on all kinds of media, looking for attention etc., it’s only fair that people say what they think about it without being slapped by angry fans (and it happens of course, since they are rarely as polite as Lewis is). I don’t know, he’s the way he is and I can appreciate that. I like people with character, even if it’s not the same as mine. I don’t like all his political views for example, but I appreciate him being proactive and fighting for what he believes to be right. Like all drivers under contract he’s sometimes coy and dishonest (and one can understand that, I’m not sure he’s got a choice even), but he also speaks his mind more often than most. Drama queen or not (I’d say yes), he makes the sport more interesting. Some enjoy being his fans, some enjoy cheering against him, I’d say both groups profit from his stay in the sport. Us neutrals, we always appreciate talent. In any case, he’s not as important to F1 as Schumacher was, or Senna before him (except in UK of course, understandably), I don’t think many people would lose interest if he’d decide to retire. I’d still always pick him over Russel, Norris, Bottas or other alternatives.

      3. Ah, so Hamilton is ‘seeking attention’ by saying nothing. It seems likely you would have been very upset whatever he did.

  2. An F1 driver makes a post in social media and that’s worthy of a news article?

    Oh the world we’re living in…

    1. @huhhii It’s always quite disappointing when intelligent, informed members of this community deliberately overlook the nuances and complexities of issues connected with the sport and reduce things down to a basic and unnecessarily silly level like this.

      You don’t have to like it, sure. But you know exactly why this particular post by this particular driver at this particular point in time is noteworthy – so can I suggest that we maybe not choose to act like this right now? You and many others who are a valued part of this community are better than that.

        1. Well said

      1. @willwood But there aren’t any nuances or complexities in this case. It was always obvious that Hamilton will return. First of all he has signed a contract and second of all retiring early on would be a massive blow to his public image. The possibility of him retiring was non-existent, yet it has been milked to death by clickbait-run media.

        Guess it worked, because I clicked. But I’m expecting more from RaceFans than this. You guys have set the bar high in the past. Continue keeping that up and refrain from these kind of non-news. Thank you.

        1. This is a pure clickbate news. Maybe 10 years ago this this would have been a d-class news but the world is changing and and its moving so fast no one can keep up with it. That’s why everybody wants to be on top of that “news mountain” to get as much readers as possible. Maybe in 10-15 years news will be totally different how we think they can be.

          1. Edit: But it takes skill to write an entire article just from a movie quote

        2. @huhhii If you don’t think it’s newsworthy that Hamilton has posted something suggesting his intention to return to F1 in 2022 following a public silence of almost two months after his team principal admitted he was unsure whether he would return to the sport, simply because you always assumed he would be racing, then that’s fine. You can have that view and you’re welcome to share that.

          But, instead, you chose to post a drive-by comment dismissing the article as if it was about a random post by any old driver – when you know that’s not the case.

          It’s far preferable that you articulate your concerns properly, rather than just post something cynical and dismissive like that which contributes nothing of value to the discourse.

          1. @willwood Clickbait-y articles deserve clickbait-y comments, don’t you think? At least my concerns regarding the journalistic values were heard so it was far from “nothing of value”.

            But I’ll leave this meta-discussion here as this does not have much to do with Hamilton’s social media post at this point. I just hope it’ll be an entertaining season to journalists and fans alike. Cheers.

          2. But, instead, you chose to post a drive-by comment dismissing the article as if it was about a random post by any old driver – when you know that’s not the case.

            That’s called sarcasm!

          3. @willwood oh, I see, so any time someone posts something against the way this page has change for worse, we are losing intelligence, showing a “silly level” of understanding (not my words, yours), and we need to “articulate our concerns properly”? (again your words)
            Sigh, but I agree with @huhhii here. The only reason I keep posting on this page is more about the (always declining) small percentage of well informed comments posted by users, and less about the way the content is delivered itself.
            Yes, I know where the door is. It’s my fault to keep returning after all. I guess all habits die hard.

          4. Lost any respect for @willwood as we are losing intelligence, showing a “silly level” of understanding and we need to “articulate our concerns properly”.

            @keithcollantine please report

          5. @willwood

            If you don’t think it’s newsworthy that Hamilton has posted something suggesting his intention to return to F1 in 2022

            This is pure Kremlin-watching, where confident claims are made about vague statements. A more logical (but still speculative) interpretation is that he announced his return to social media, because if he wanted to make a statement about returning to F1, a more logical thing to write would be “I’ll be back” or such.

            If you seriously believe that he could only have been talking about returning to F1, then I would suggest that you are stuck in a bubble where nonsense that is amplified by the media becomes reality and it is assumed that everyone else lives in the same bubble. Fortunately, a lot of us do not.

            It’s far preferable that you articulate your concerns properly, rather than just post something cynical and dismissive like that which contributes nothing of value to the discourse.

            The issue is that you’ve been fueling a non-story based on little more than your own speculation and the reporting on speculation by others (ignoring that those people have incentives to fabricate this story), with no actual evidence that Lewis has been considering leaving F1 more than he did in the past.

            We’ve seen this kind of reporting about Lewis for season after season, with Lewis simply returning each time. Perhaps you should reflect on how your own behavior is contributing to cynicism about the media, but to be honest, my cynicism about the ability of the media to be critical about itself is very high indeed.

          6. @huhhii I’m with @willwood on this one. He’s right, you may have concluded Hamilton’s silence meant nothing, but plenty of informed pundits, most in fact, have expressed otherwise. So Hamilton breaking that silence is news, however small, given we’re talking about the most successful driver in Formula 1 history and one millions of fans want to see battle Verstappen et al. this year too. The only bit I disagree with is Will’s conclusion that it’s a strong indication that Hamilton will stay in Formula 1. I mean, I was already presuming at this point that he will stay, but I don’t see this post as proof of that.

          7. Bit excessive @willwood – this single tweet could just as easily have been covered in the roundup rather than an article. I am used to seeing good analysis here, this story is not that at all – there is nothing TO analyse.

          8. @david-br

            informed pundits

            I think that you misspelled ‘baseless gossip.’

          9. @aapje Just about every F1 journalist has mentioned the silence and the speculation surrounding it. It may well be ‘baseless gossip’ but that’s the point – with Hamilton going silent, who knows? Your conclusion that it’s baseless is also entirely speculation, if you’re honest about it.

          10. @david-br

            Yes, journalists are largely an extremely insular group, who tend to consider everything that other journalists also commonly do to be acceptable, if not laudatory. To be fair, this is typical human behavior, where many people will feel proud to even commit the most heinous crimes if their peers approve. And those who disagree tend to be drummed out.

            Yet confidence by the public in the media is very low, so the morals of journalists don’t seem to garner that much approval.

            It may well be ‘baseless gossip’ but that’s the point – with Hamilton going silent, who knows?

            Then don’t speculate, but report the facts. If there are no facts to report, report nothing. And certainly don’t report speculation as fact, as is done here.

            Your conclusion that it’s baseless is also entirely speculation, if you’re honest about it.

            My claims that no solid evidence has been produced that Hamilton ‘went silent’ as a protest against the FIA, that Toto is not a reliable source given his clear interest in lying about this and that this social media post can be interpreted very differently to how it is spun here, are all true. None of that is speculative.

            You seem to make the typical mistake of confusing a complaint about a lack of evidence for a claim, with a claim that the opposite is true. Yet I never claimed that Lewis didn’t consider quitting. My claim is merely that it shouldn’t be reported as fact, when the evidence for it is as flimsy as things that the media would never think of considering reporting as fact or as being plausible, like aliens having landed at Area 51 (for which there is more poor evidence than for the claims about Lewis).

          11. @aapje

            can be interpreted very differently // None of that is speculative.

            Really, is there much point in arguing with you? ‘Interpretation’ is ‘speculation.’ You seem to make the common mistake that your own interpretation is fact. Your basically agreeing with me but can’t admit it. It’s all speculation until proven otherwise.

          12. @david-br

            My ‘interpretation’ is that there is no clear interpretation. Which you actually agreed with, so I’m not really sure why you are insisting on telling me that I’m wrong.

            I guess that you don’t understand English very well and are confused about words such as ‘baseless.’

            Your basically agreeing with me but can’t admit it.

            Oh, the irony.

      2. You don’t have to like it, sure. But you know exactly why this particular post by this particular driver at this particular point in time is noteworthy

        Noteworthy for an article in which you share nothing new, not even the Social Media post?

        Not only a cynic believes this article is just for the clicks and comments (like mine).

      3. Full marks to @willwood and all of your well-reasoned replies!

      4. @willwood +1000. Brilliantly said.
        Im surprised that he didnt wait until after the results of the investigation are announced. I thought that was key? Or maybe the FIA have had another “secret agreement” (as they did with Ferrari in 2019) with Mercedes? Im excited to see him back, but Im surprised about the timing of the announcement.

      5. @willwood sorry Will, you have gone out of line. I don’t think @huhhii deserves a scolding or the disrespect.
        I think we can all agree that the mediatism surrounding Hamilton’s social media is inane. Is it news worthy? Since there is a lot of curiosity surrounding Hamilton’s social media then I’d say yes, it is news worthy. Big question is how does it relate to Hamilton leaving f1? Can’t someone just log off, stay away, have a vacation?
        Too much, way too much has been made out of not posting. How trivial?
        News worthy maybe, meaningful? Definitely not!

      6. Don’t bother mate. Some people never get it.

      7. nuances and complexities of issues connected with the sport

        Haha, funny that one.
        This whole saga has been nicely orchestrated by Mercedes and the media (including you) to get more clicks. Everybody was more than happy to push the ‘will he retire or will he not’ narrative to get some clicks. To push it as nuances and complexities is over the top.
        We all know you are a massive Lewis fan, but come on, show some integrity.

        And I see Formula 1 and Mercedes are already milking for all it’s worth on Twitter.

      8. Completely agree with you Will. I just wish those that disparage your work would shut up and go away and start their own publications where they write only what they think is newsworthy.

          1. exactly!

          2. Spot on! Can’t agree more with Ricky there.

            It is rather disheartening though not in the least surprising to see that there’s a big overlap between those attacking Will for the article and those who never have anything positive to say about Lewis, who take every opportunity to attack him for literally anything.

      9. @willwood

        Pretty amusing how you go after people who don’t buy into the manufactured drama, for the clicks.

        It’s in your financial interest to deceive yourself into thinking that reporting like this has any value to the world.

      10. @willwood
        “ It’s always quite disappointing when intelligent, informed members of this community deliberately overlook the nuances and complexities of issues connected with the sport and reduce things down to a basic and unnecessarily silly level”

        Something similar to watching a race with two highly controversial decisions, one greatly benefiting driver A and one greatly benefiting driver B, but afterwards only bringing up only the one that suits your narrative best?

        The irony….the irony…..the irony.

        (And whatever we do, we certainly don’t wanna bring up all the controversial decisions of the season because it would only lead to the conclusion driver B was robbed of a title he had no right still being in the fight for.)

      11. Well written there @willwood!

    2. Ok Boomer

    3. World is full of people who will complain about anything and everything.

      1. Like complaining about people who complain…

    4. It is getting increasingly ridiculous, I agree. You just cant trust any media outlet anymore. There is absolutely no story here. It is both tiresome and worrying to report this, yet I have seen already tens of articles on nothing. The world is turning into a perpetual circus act.

    5. I don’t like Hamiltons public persona but one hell of a driver. Shows his standing when by doing nothing (media silence) he has been the biggest story over the usual dull cold boring months from last race until new car presentations. By doing nothing he has carried F1 in the media, impressive.

    6. @huhhii Not everyone who follow F1 is on the social media. So, when a driver/team makes a post on social media which is contextual, it is useful in a news/article format to a larger audience. Worthiness of news is always relative and there is no need to be dismissive of any news.

      1. The thing is you cant credit him at all for it. He didnt do it, the media did it. They created something that isnt there and the cattle fell for it.

        1. Apologies, this was meant as a reaction to Markp

      2. @pinakghosh

        That context has been made up by the media and those with an interest in furthering this story. It’s extremely common that the media make stuff up and then demand an answer, arguing that the celeb has an obligation to respond to whatever the media is concerned with. It’s part of the internal media narrative where they see themselves and their concerns as representative for the public at large, ignoring that they are not very inclusive and that they have their own interests that influence their reporting.

        They actually sometimes take it even further, by only accepting one answer. I’ve seen the media hounding a person by asking the same question dozens of times, hoping that one day they’ll finally give the ‘correct’ answer. It’s a pure abuse of power.

        1. I have always held a view that if a context or content of an article is not to the liking of any individual reader (for any number of reasons) or lacks relevance, that does not make the context or the content irrelevant to others.

          1. Thank you @pinakghosh. Why is this so hard to comprehend by some?

          2. Great point there @pinakghosh!

          3. @pinakghosh

            I fully understand that there are plenty of people who like gossip and wild speculation, just like there are plenty of people who like pictures of naked people. That doesn’t mean that any of that should be published here.

    7. Yeah, who cares. Live your own life.

    8. The BBC also reported this “event”, so it’s hardly clickbait. It’s mainstream news and I would have been quite surprised if there hadn’t been an article on racefans about it.

      Also, you have to understand that in the correct context social media is proper news. You or me doom scrolling on facebook or instagram is not news. But when the possibly the greatest driver of all times breaks his silence after the events at the end of the last season, it very much is news.

      You don’t need official channels to make your point anymore. You don’t need to arrange a press conference. A couple of lines on Twitter has the same effect. Much more efficient, everything considered!

      1. Oh wow, the BBC

      2. @phaedrace

        The BBC also reported this “event”, so it’s hardly clickbait.

        Or the BBC also uses clickbait…

        It’s mainstream news

        Yes, there is a structural problem with the media. Not sure how this is a defense of Racefans, though.

        But when the possibly the greatest driver of all times breaks his silence after the events at the end of the last season, it very much is news.

        That may be true, but the spin that Racefans put on it is not objective reporting. This is both true for the narrative that he considered quitting, as well as the narrative that he now stated that he is returning. He actually stated neither. It’s all a figment of the media.

    9. @huhhii Hopefully he will also write a whole article about Taki Inoue tweet.

      1. Kimi spent few weeks on a family holiday in Maldives and posted many family pictures from there. Think RaceFans could run a whole series of articles based on those!

        Good to see I’m not alone with my opinion. Thank you for support @omarr-pepper @aapje and others

        1. Ah, but then the site would get lambasted for milking a driver who isn’t even an F1 driver anymore, so why would it be relevant to F1 @huhhii

        2. I’m with @willwood et al on this set of commentary. I also wonder what the comments would have been like had LH broken his silence and this site not said a peep.

          1. You can mention it on the daily round -up. And remember LH’s tweet doesn’t say anything about F1. He says “I’m back” (to social media? To the US? Anything else is just speculation)

          2. @omarr-pepper You honestly think LH would post only that, if/when in actuality he has decided to leave F1? That would be very very strange, no?

    10. That’s adorable.

  3. I am Jack’s complete shocked expression.

    1. Hey!
      I watched fight club as well last night!

  4. Just been reading about Mr Warwick and his Honda dealership in Jersey..Good job he wasn’t a steward in Abu Dhabi..Oh!
    No wonder Mercedes and Lewis are so furious.Just keeps getting worse for the FIA.

  5. LMAO. As soon as this gets posted, social media goes mad. LOOOL

    1. RandomMallard
      5th February 2022, 23:16

      @krichelle I stay off it for good reason!

      1. I stay on it because everyone in F1 including the F1 accredited journalists are on it, and 90% of F1 news is announced there first by the people in F1 who make the news. Its not filtered, altered and amended a dozen times to suit the plethora of publications that simply regurgitate what they also read first on social media.

        1. RandomMallard
          6th February 2022, 16:05

          I can understand that argument as well. It can be an incredibly useful resource for news and information. But at the same time, it can turn into a toxic cesspool that adds little of value to the sport. For me, places like this site get me most of the news I need (part of the reason I love Round Ups).

          1. Ive never really seen this toxic cesspool on Twitter. Obviously I avoid the comment section on Hams (racist) and his brothers (mocking disabilities) almost permanently, and others at obvious flashpoints. but I find in general its a lot less combative than on sites such as this. And you get the view and opinions of those we don’t hear much from within F1 such as photographers, mechanics, and other backroom staff.

          2. his brothers (mocking disabilities)

            This actually exists? Inhumane really.

  6. In other news: Terminator: “My arm is gone.”

  7. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    5th February 2022, 19:09

    Exactly how I said it would go: Mercedes/Hamilton create the rumor Hamilton is not coming back (possibly) and then, just before the season starts, reak in positive PR by doing this whole ‘oh wowy Hamiltin IS coming back after all!’

    It’s hilarious how people still fall for stuff like this, as it’s literally the same as Hamilton’s radios to Bono saying ‘oh no my tyres’. You’d think people that have been covering F1 for years would know better by now…

    1. There was still plenty of time to keep the suspense going assuming your insinuation was correct.

    2. It’s hilarious how people still fall for stuff like this

      You really can’t see people happy with Hamilton, hun? What a miserable soul…

      1. @becken-lima

        It’s pretty hilarious how your huge bias makes you post comments like this, which have no sensible relation to the comment you are responding to.

    3. You must be the most informed person on mercedes, Hamilton going ons that you can literally predict everything that’s going to happen in their future activities. Well done.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        6th February 2022, 14:17

        @lems – He’s not more knowledgeable than Mercedes’ staff or Hamilton – none of them considered for even a fraction of a second that Hamilton was retiring either.

        It was never a possibility that Hamilton was going to go out having lost like that and it was never a possibility that Mercedes were going to leave it to a couple of weeks before testing to find a replacement driver.

        As I said earlier in the summer, there’s more chance of Mazepin being world champion in 2022 than there was of Hamilton giving the idea of retirement any thought.

    4. @barryfromdownunder I think you’re dead right. It is normal to be desillusioned for a week or two, but staying silent for almost 2 months has directed much of the attention that RB/Verstappen should have gotten to MB/Hamilton’s story. It’s a PR ploy. Business as usual for team LH who can now be crowed champion of PR at least. DR wrote an insightful article on a competitors site about this.

  8. The grid is a more exciting place with him on it. I hope he can keep racing to his usual high standard for a couple more years at least. With exceptional younger talents like Max, Lando, George and Charles, if the new cars do give us closer racing, it could be a golden year in 2022. Here’s hoping.

  9. F1 has to be transparent on the upcoming report any false information will continue making masi max championship asterisk and no one will recognize him as champion 2021 the power lewis Hamilton has over f1 nobody can surpass he deserves better from fia not lying about what happened in Abu Dhabi. For you max I won’t acknowledge you as 2021 champion you never won it by the rules it was gift from masi

    1. You’ve got a point.
      Exactly one.

      1. Indeed, right after ‘Dhabi’

      2. Rubbish. Lewis gained far more places with good fortune than Max did over the season. Although, you can scribble an asterisk on if it makes you feel better about it all.

      3. Coventry Climax
        6th February 2022, 16:04

        What I noticed exactly. Your way of wording it is great though and made me slap my knee with laughter.

  10. I don’t see those who doubted Hamilton returning any more assured by what basically is nothing more than announcing that he’s back from his absence on social media. His post doesn’t say any more than that basically. Even though the fact that Mercedes shared it on Instagram does imply that there’s a connection one could just as well argue that Lewis’ post alone still leaves a lot of room for (that particular) speculation.

  11. “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!”.

    Social media on Hamilton camp just went wild with his coming back. Great to see his fans so happy after all that disappointment.

    On another note, could this coming back mean that Masi’s situation was finally sorted out?

    1. I don’t believe Hamilton’s return is tied to Masi. That is all just negative press to add more pressure on Mercedes and Hamilton.

  12. Forever the drama queen “now I’m back!”

    Ooooo look out everyone the main character is looking for revenge on the evil Dr. Masi and Mad Max..

    1. The same description “Forever the drama queen” can be attached to the guy in your profile pic who I assume is the dude you support.

  13. Jeeze… I’m fine with the article but Lewis was never actually away. Like a stroppy teenager coming out of his room after a couple of weeks of self imposed isolation, we knew exactly how this was going to play out. Yeah right, dude, great to see you.

    1. This – absolutely this !

  14. RandomMallard
    5th February 2022, 23:15

    Not surprised. This seems to be quite a big hint that he will return. Realistically, I have personally never bought the rumours he would retire. I don’t think, from my (admittedly basic and fairly uninformed viewpoint) that Lewis Hamilton works that way. I expect he will only want that 8th title more than ever now. And we’ve seen from things like Brazil that when Lewis is determined, he can be on another level.

    And this isn’t him being a “drama queen” or anything. It’s just him announcing he’s back. And yes, I would argue its newsworthy (as someone who stays off social media myself). A full article? Maybe not (but it’s understandable to have something to fill the gaps), but certainly Round-up worthy at the least.

    1. The first few minutes after he lost the championship in a strange manner was good enough reason to question the direction the sport wants to go and if all the effort you put in can be overturned by the singular action of an individual.
      If the organisers admit there were flaws but can not change the outcome and then take steps to ensure the rules are followed, he can find it easier to commit.

  15. The decision as to whether he drives this year or not would have been made ages ago. Whoever drives the car this year would have had to have input into its set up etc. Hamilton would not leave Mercedes hanging to this late stage. If he was to retire, Mercedes would already have someone to slot into the seat. Getting this close to the season, what choices have they got at such short notice? It appears to be a media beat up initiated by Mercedes as to the uncertainty. They are getting headlines for nothing, whilst still trying to vent their anger and influence at the outcome of Abu Dhabi.

  16. Well, this was so obvious. He would never retire. Let’s move on now and wait for the next week and new car launches. At least the period of lack of worthwhile news are over, testing is almost there.

    1. Ah , just to mention that my previous comment was not to discredit any of your great articles Will Wood, it’s just the period of the year where traditionally there’s no news! Keep the great work as always.

  17. I have to admit that the silence has been blissful .

  18. If we can take something away from the social media gate is that the press is the big culprit for Hamilton looking like a diva. He stayed low-key for a couple months but media could not stop talking about Hamilton. Media don’t just do it for the clicks I have always said that this is mainly bias. Look at footballers, for instances Grealish is an average player but somehow it is worth £100 million. Just bias.

    1. @peartree

      The bias and the clicks are related. If nobody cared about Grealish, the media would make a fuss about someone else that people are biased about, so they get the clicks.

    2. Trying (and succeeding) to steal the headlines again.
      Dieter has an interesting view on that.
      Probably a opinion not fit for this site.

      1. I’ve seen Dieter’s view. I’m not sure why you deem it very interesting given it is the same kind of speculation that many are castigating Will and the RF team for here. That aside, I see the post has zero comments hours after it was published. Why don’t you show it some love?

  19. Well, I understand making an article about this cause he had indeed been silent for a while, which was uncharacteristic, but even I, who was slow at believing for example that wolff would replace bottas with russell and break the harmony at mercedes with a complaint team mate, never believed hamilton would retire because by now we’d have certainly heard some rumors of some other driver going to mercedes.

    Good that hamilton is staying in any case, depending on the car we could have in-team (mercedes) and out-of-team rivalries this year.

  20. It’s a weird post by Hamilton, where was he gone? Where is he now? Social media isn’t a physical place you can be gone from, he didn’t delete his accounts so everything is still there…

    Just saying he’s back is like saying nothing. He might as well have said “here’s another post” or “pay attention to me” it’s like someone arriving at a party and shouting “I have arrived.”

    And the comments are sad, eating it up, tabloid celebrity level of fanaticism/hatred. It really is becoming WWE and nobody seems to care.

    1. Judging by the photo that accompanied his post, I’d say he’d gone to the grand canyon. Perhaps he’s just been trekking for a couple of months, just soaking it up!

      1. @tommy-c

        Perhaps he got lost in the Grand Canyon and announced that he returned safely back to civilization.

  21. A couple of years ago, didn’t Hamilton say that he didn’t do any his social media stuff and that he had a team of people do it for him? IE Media Machine. An no that’s not being negative, it’s realistic. Nobody could keep up with the amount of work that would be required.
    So to honest truth is that Hamilton has not been quiet, his/Mercedes media machine has.

    1. I think that was true in 2011 and 2012, when he actually teamed up with a sports publicity firm, and effectively “fired” his father.

      But I believe he terminated that relationship before joining Mercedes. Given some of the mistakes in his social media presence the last couple of years, I doubt he has a team working for him– they would have stopped a couple of those fiascoes.

  22. GOOD!

  23. Good, this is what a great sportsman should do after a painful defeat.

    Step 1, Shut up.
    Step 2, Get to work.
    Step 3, Return and Win.

    Optional steps.. Do some smack talking in pre-season.

  24. ‘ Social media silence’ uhmm ok, still I don’t understand why you would also unfollow everybody. Altogether quite annoying / childish imho. Now start (focussing on) racing please.

    1. Unfollowing on Social Media is behaviour one could expect from a petulant infant. But Saint Lewis is 37!

    2. He didn’t. He unfollowed on Instagram only. The same 800 are still on all his other platforms.

    3. He didn’t unfollow anyone lol. It’s possible on IG to hide your follower list and it then shows up as zero to anyone else viewing. Grow up. It’s everyone else acting childish. Rent free everyday.

      1. Fine. But why did he do this list hiding? Did Instagram do anything to annoy him?

        Anyway, big girl’s blouse, our Lewis. I’ve relistened his team radio communications during the Abu Dhabi race and he just oozed insecurity.

        1. idk why dont you ask him? or just continue to waste your time an energy hating him. your choice

  25. Who can be sure what this means? Who knows, guys, maybe tomorrow’s post will be a picture of a big box with a question mark on it and the caption, “Now I’m gone again”

    1. @red-andy

      The media apparently ‘know’. Just like they ‘know’ a lot of thing.

    2. @red-andy That was my thought too. With FIA mid review, and clearly pressured by the ‘Hamilton silence,’ it would seem strange to announce his return with their review decision maybe imminent. So I read it as more a case of ‘here waiting…’ Could be wrong.

  26. Was there ever really any doubt…?

    1. Very little doubt; but a lot of wishful thinking he wouldn’t come back by some.

  27. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    6th February 2022, 8:47

    There’s something Coulthard used to say: you never get bored of the racing, it’s all the rubbish outside of the car which eventually gets too much. Hamilton’s stats are amazing, he could have just walked away from the sport without any bitterness, and probably should have. I see him as on the threshold now: if he stays, it’s because he wants to see how these 2022 cars perform. But now that he’s seriously contemplated retiring, the question “why am I still doing this?” will always be hovering at the back of his mind.

  28. Was he away from the grand canyon all this time? I don’t get it.

  29. So thrilled Lewis is back.

    I have been beside myself with worry since Abu Dhabi. I’ll be able to rest easy now.

  30. An entire BTL comment section of drama queens accusing Hamilton of being a drama queen for the comment ‘now I’m back.’ That is quite funny. He has even his devout, worshipful ‘enemies’ feeding titbits from his hands. For the sake of their embarrassment, I won’t name names.
    Is it news? Yes and no, yes because he broke media silence, no because it doesn’t actually say anything more than ‘announcement pending.’ It’s a calm and measured comment from someone who knows his value and knows how to work social media. Nothing else.

    1. You think LH writes that stuff? It really looks to be designed by a commision of PR people. As the whole keeping silent for two months was – in order to draw attention to LH and MB and not the new WC. All carefully planned.

      Once you take that perspective, you can pretty much predict what the moves will be in light of “how can we maximise publicity and detract attention from our opponents”.

      1. @br444m Sure, it’s almost certainly checked, or monitored, at least by a PR, like just about any sports celebrity today, but if so, great job to have, doing nothing for two months (!) while Hamilton calls a time out.

      2. Who ever writes it is doing a good job, he has his critics and Max fans virtually frothing at the mouth.

        Very little has been said but has his fans delighted and his opposition in a rage. Success I’d say

        1. I’d feel insulted by these tactics if I were a fan. Just leaving them in uncertainty with all the speculation – just to milk out the publicity value. A really bad example to his followers, and very far of the values that LH claims to have.

          And next season we’ll hear him state at every podium procession again, how important the fans are to him.

          1. Lol….Can I offer you an egg in this trying time?

          2. I think you are massively overthinking his tweet/post. There is no game playing here. It is not about racing. This is not a post to declare he is 100% confirmed to be racing this season. I think it is a very indication he will, and would be extremely surprising if he doesn’t start the season at this point.

            The tweet is more to do with the time spent away coming to terms with the way the season ended. Anyone that is familiar with the Kübler-Ross model of how ‘grief’ plays out will know that this will have affected him mentally.

            All he is saying he has been away, taking time out on his own/with loved ones going through the stages of grief. Starting with denial, anger, etc now reached acceptance. Now he is back ready in his own mind to move forward.

  31. Sometimes you have to break off a chunk of baguette to clean your palate. Very smart of him to unplug.

  32. I see from the comments that the Max fans have started pre-season testing early on there social media presence…. :-)

  33. Glad he’s surfaced. Hope it means he’s gonna contend again.

    Gotta say it’s really sad to see “community” members slating @willwood. Folk like Will provide you a site and forum to discuss the latest developments and news in F1. If you want a soapbox for abuse, set up your own site and tout a blinkered view about your favourite team or driver. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of the aggression you are seeking.

    Keith has run this as a non-partisan site since the start. If you don’t think the question whether Hamilton would race again following the end to last season was relevant, I suggest you review recent comments by Christian Horner or Zak Brown.

  34. Some overhyped chauffeur tweets the paralyzing panic of being trounced by GR it’s apparently over (but will get trounced anyway)

    Somehow this is newsworthy

    1. I was wondering when you’d show up. You never disappoint…

      1. Next time I’ll sell you tickets

  35. This man is so funny, aways giving us something to laugh at.

  36. Missed his opportunity to post that he is back on 2/2/2022.

  37. He’s took a break and now he is back. He knows what’s going on and making everyone think he really cares.

  38. Lewis said 3 or so words and over 120 comments wow the guy is really a forxe to be reckoned with. On and off the track.

    1. OK that is more like proof! :)

  39. NeverElectric
    7th February 2022, 11:17

    Going by the number of comments on Lewis on this thread, and on social media – Twitter, FB, IG, name it – it’s not just his silence that he broke with those few words. He broke the internet pretty much!

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