F1: How long will Lewis Hamilton remain silent?
Updated: Jan 21
IT'S been over a month since the controversial climax of the 2021 Driver's Championship where a season-long battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was decided at Abu Dhabi. Robbed of victory and a record-breaking eighth title, there's been no word from the Hamilton camp.
The conclusion to the 2021 Formula One Season was decided in Abu Dhabi on the 12th of December with the race going down to the final lap but it was ultimately decided by an intervention by the F1 Race Director Michael Masi.
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Hamilton was overtaken by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the final lap to win the Abu Dhabi GP and therefore the 2021 Driver's crown.
Since the race and the end of season test held at Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has chosen to say very little and this has raised serious rumours to whether the Brit will race this season. In the past, many rumours have swirled round the F1 Paddock in the off-season but none as serious as this one.
The FIA are continuing their review into the events of Abu Dhabi and the results of their investigation is set to be released early next month. The outcome of review is going to reportedly set the precedent for the upcoming season.
Having turned 37 years old on the 7th of January, Hamilton has kept to himself. However, media attention was hard to escape as he was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.
The Seven Time World Champion has gone radio silent. If you take a look at his Instagram, his last post was on the 11th of December and it was a hopeful post off the back of a qualifying where his championship rival pipped him to Pole Position. What's even more striking is that it shows that he's following no-one else on the social media app.
His Twitter account is the same however he's still following people. The last post was the 11th of December and echoed his Instagram post. His Facebook account is slightly different - he doesn't post as often as he does on Instagram and Twitter - with his last post being on the 7th of December.
However, Mercedes Team Principal and close friend of Hamilton, Toto Wolff shared some insight and revealed to Auto Motor und Sport on the Brit's frame of mind.
"It's going to take a long time to digest. I don't think we'll ever get over that, especially Lewis as a driver. At least we can try together with the FIA to do better in the future."
Meanwhile McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown shared his thoughts on the season finale and said he wouldn't be shocked if Hamilton stopped racing in F1. Brown was quoted to saying that: “I think he’ll be back."
Brown continued: “He’s a racing driver. I think he’s at the top of his game. I’m sure he’s very angry, but I think race car drivers want to race and I think he’s a fighter."
“I don’t think he’s ready to retire - this is my own personal opinion, I’ve not talked to him."
Hamilton's championship-winning team are continuing their 2022 preparations and have revealed that they will be unveiling their challenger on the 18th of February.
Mercedes plan to launch the W13 in a "special digital launch event" at Silverstone, the home of the British GP, and have said that both Hamilton and newcomer to the team George Russell will face the media and be present for the launch.
If Hamilton was to attend, it would be the first time since he publicly spoke at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP. If he chose not to, then it would be a huge event to miss and it would send a very ominous statement.