The Mercedes F1 Team has seemingly hinted that Sir Lewis Hamilton won’t be retiring ahead of the 2022 season.
Hamilton was cruelly defeated by Max Verstappen at the season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in highly controversial circumstances.
There have been calls for race director Michael Masi, who made the controversial decision to only allow the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves, to be fired as a result of his handling of the grand prix.
Meanwhile, the Briton hasn’t spoken to the media since the race (with the exception of a brief post-race interview he took part in), neither has he posted anything on social media.
And, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said he can’t offer any assurances that Hamilton will decide to continue racing in Formula 1 in 2022, after the heartbreak he suffered in the curtain-closer.
However, Mercedes have offered a beacon of hope to Hamilton fans that the seven-time world champion won’t be retiring before the 2022 season gets underway.
On Monday morning, the Silver Arrows posted a tweet of Hamilton climbing into a Mercedes F1 car, captioned: “All fired up for another full-on week in the factory. Full steam ahead with project W13.”
Some social media users took this as a hint that Hamilton remains committed to Mercedes and will still be racing with the team in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2022.
“Can’t wait to see the best driver, in the best car, for the best team back out on track!” one Hamilton fan commented.
“Oh remember that time when Toto said he was unsure about Lewis’ future. That was like a week ago,” another reacted.
“Welcome back champ! The Masterclass is outstanding @LewisHamilton! Looking forward to yet another season of great performance and winning!” a third fan commented.
Earlier, former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher suggested that, should Hamilton indeed retire, Sebastian Vettel could be the perfect replacement for the Brit.
He justified this by pointing out the Aston Martin’s 2021 car had a very similar design philosophy to Mercedes’ 2021 challenger, and Vettel’s machine was also powered by Mercedes.
Therefore, Schumacher said he believes Vettel could quickly get integrated and settled in at Mercedes.
“The experience that Sebastian has, the speed that he has, continues to be there,” he said.
“And above all, he knows his way around the Mercedes car – and with the engine. And I think the Aston Martin concept is also very close,” the German added.