Mercedes provide further confirmation of Hamilton shelving 2022 retirement plans

Sir Lewis Hamilton took nearly two months away from social media after his controversial championship defeat to Max Verstappen in 2021.

Mercedes have once again suggested that Sir Lewis Hamilton won’t be retiring from Formula 1 ahead of the 2022 season.

Hamilton was cruelly denied his eighth F1 world championship last year when race director Michael Masi allowed a limited number of lapped runners to pass a late Safety Car in the season finale, leading to a final lap pass from Max Verstappen on the 37-year-old to claim his maiden title.

Mercedes were outraged at the finish, with team principal Toto Wolff telling Masi that the closing stages of the race were “so not right,” and the eight-time constructors’ champions are now keeping a close eye on the FIA’s investigation into the contentious race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

After the grand prix, Hamilton said “we’ll see about next year” and took a near two-month absence from social media, prompting many in the motorsport world to suggest that he might be through with Formula 1.

Indeed, Former F1 driver Perry McCarthy told that such an event was “possible,” but the seven-time champion returned to social media on 5 February, posting a picture of him smiling with the caption: “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back.”

His team welcomed him back with a series of supportive messages from renowned stars around the world, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has recently stated that he feels Hamilton is ready to focus on the new season.

Mercedes think so too, and they have now posted a picture of Hamilton on their socials looking at a big 44 – his race number – captioned: “44 is back.”

Hamilton is set to be joined by compatriot George Russell after the 24-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today, was signed to replace Alfa Romeo-bound Valtteri Bottas.

The Brackley squad are to unveil their new challenger on 18 February, with both Russell and Hamilton expected to be at the factory for the big reveal.

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