At some point, Formula 1 fans will know for sure whether or not Lewis Hamilton plans to return for the 2022 season or retire before it begins.
There is still plenty of uncertainty surrounding seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as the start of the 2022 season nears.
Following the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit, which saw him miss out on what would have been a record-breaking eighth world championship on the final lap after a controversial restart, Hamilton had remained silent up until this past Saturday afternoon.
Given how the final lap unfolded, the Mercedes driver has still not formally committed to returning to Formula 1 for the 2022 season, despite the fact that he signed a two-year contract extension over the summer which runs through 2023.
While most expect him to return, we are quickly approaching some key dates ahead of the upcoming 23-race season by which he may have to make a final decision. Here are some possibilities.
Lewis Hamilton F1 retirement deadlines: No. 1 – Friday, February 18
Friday, February 18, which is less than two weeks away, is when Mercedes plan to launch their car for the 2022 Formula 1 season. Their challenger, named the W13, is the car with which they will aim to win a record ninth consecutive constructor championship — and first of the post-V6 turbo hybrid era.
Presumably, both Mercedes drivers, Hamilton and George Russell, who is replacing Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2022 season, would be in attendance at the car launch, but the Silver Arrows have not confirmed whether Hamilton will be there, indicating that even they may be in the dark as it pertains to his future — or lack thereof — in Formula 1.