Amid rumours that Sir Lewis Hamilton may be looking away from Formula 1 after the controversial 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has said he would like the Mercedes driver to remain in the sport.
The Spaniard is hopeful that suggestions of Hamilton leaving F1 for pastures new are not valid, as he wants to continue racing against the Briton in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“I don’t know what Hamilton will decide to do,” Sainz told Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
The Spaniard added that he believes Hamilton is one of the greatest of all time, and said he wants him to keep racing in the sport.
“I hope Hamilton doesn’t retire, I want to continue racing with him, he’s one of the best in history and I want to continue sharing the grid with him.”
Hamilton was denied his eighth F1 title at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in controversial fashion.
With just five laps to go, Nicholas Latifi put his Williams in the barrier at Turn 14, bringing out the Safety Car. Mercedes opted not to pit Hamilton in order to avoid losing track position, but Red Bull boxed Verstappen onto fresh tyres.
Race director Michael Masi then made a strange decision to allow only the five lapped cars between the leaders go through, with the rest staying put.
Verstappen then passed Hamilton on the finale lap of the race to claim the title, leading Mercedes to instantly protest the race result.
Immediately after the race, though, Hamilton seemed magnanimous in defeat, saying: “Firstly big congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year, my team, everyone back at the factory, all the men and women, we have worked so hard all year.”
The 36-year-old and his Mercedes team were a no-show at the FIA Prize-Giving Gala last week, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested that Hamilton’s mind may now be elsewhere, saying the former champion is “disillusioned” at present.
“Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment. We are not disillusioned of the sport, we love the sport with every bone in our body and we love it because the stopwatch never lies,” Wolff said.