It won’t be long before the wraps are being pulled off of 2022’s challengers for the new Formula 1 season but there’s considerable doubt over whether Lewis Hamilton is going to be a part of Mercedes’ plans for the coming campaign.
The Briton has a contract with the Silver Arrows until the end of 2023 but after the way last season ended in the most controversial circumstances, there have been some suggestions that Hamilton may decide to walk away from the sport.
Of course, that would be a huge surprise as he’ll surely want to use 2022 as a way of moving on from the disappointment of 2021 but his silence on social media is generating headlines, and Sky Sports’ Craig Slater has given an update that hardly suggests it is definite Lewis will return for another crack at a record-breaking 8th Drivers’ crown next season.
He reported: “With 69 days to go until the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, it is still unclear whether Lewis Hamilton will be on the grid.
“In terms of Hamilton coming back to Formula 1, having the appetite to do so and getting over the ‘disillusionment’ that his team boss Toto Wolff said he felt after Abu Dhabi, the onus is on the FIA to deliver on the pledge they made before Christmas to investigate the happenings on that final lap and to come up with some findings.
“It is understood that Mercedes want to see something tangible. It’s been put to me like this: the longer this drags on then the worse the Lewis Hamilton situation is, and that is from a senior source.”
It’s hardly a ringing endorsement for Lewis to be on the grid in 2022, is it?
Ultimately, it would still be a huge surprise to see statistically the most successful driver on the grid walk away from the sport, even after what happened in Abu Dhabi, but there are certainly plenty of people suggesting that that could be the case.
As mentioned, he has a contract until 2023 with Merc but they’d understand his decision either way, and so we’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds.