The seven-time world champion’s future is reportedly hinging on the outcome of the FIA’s investigation into the controversial conclusion to last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which Hamilton lost the title to Max Verstappen on the final lap after race director Michael Masi did not properly apply the rules during a late Safety Car.
Hamilton has not spoken publicly or posted on social media since leaving Abu Dhabi and was described by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff as being “disillusioned” with F1, leading to weeks of speculation about whether he will return for the upcoming 2022 season.
Speaking on a special edition of the F1 Show, Hill, who missed out on the 1994 title to Michael Schumacher following a hugely controversial collision, said he found it “not difficult at all” to return and backed Hamilton to be on the grid this year.
“I wanted to win a championship,” Hill told Sky Sports F1.” Lewis has already won seven, it’s slightly different.
“He’s getting to the end of his career, it may be many years, but he’s got a lot in the bank. He might just think ‘I’ve done all I can do’.
“But I’m sure that eighth title is just too tempting, I’m sure he’ll want to come back, have it and lay all of this to rest.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit and former F1 driver Martin Brundle does not believe the talk that Hamilton is thinking about quitting.
Asked whether Mercedes or Hamilton could consider pulling out of F1, Brundle replied: “Absolutely not, I don’t buy any of it to be honest.
“I’m sure Toto has been asked by Lewis, ‘what are you doing about this?’ But Formula 1 is fantastically successful for the Mercedes-Benz brand.
“Lewis is 37 years old and we know he’s driving at his peak, incredibly determined and competitive. He’ll be back.
“I’m a little bit uncomfortable of a team and a driver starting to determine who is doing what in Race Control, or any other role in F1 – that’s the tail wagging the dog to a certain extent.
“If I was a Formula 1 boss and my driver came to me and said I don’t want to race anymore if that guy is staying around, I would immediately stop thinking about race control and thinking ‘hang on, has my driver lost his motivation’?, which of course he hasn’t.
“Lewis will be back and he’ll be pressing the throttle ever harder.”