Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali has admitted he had discussions regarding whether Lewis Hamilton may opt to retire from the sport.
This week the seven-time world champion ended a long social media silence with a post stating “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!”
It was his first post since prior to the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which ended in controversial circumstances and saw Max Verstappen claim the title.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Domenicali admitted his office had considered the prospect that the Brit might simply walk away from F1.
“The discussion, or what has happened in the last couple of weeks, it’s part of the normal things that we do,” he said.
“There was a sort of total respect for what was his choice to be in silent mode and I think that his battery will be fully charged for the start of the season.”
Hamilton has since shared images of what he’s been up to since the final race, which saw him collect his knighthood in the days following the Yas Marina race.
“From what I know and what I see, I saw the last picture of Lewis with the right positivity in his face and his gesture,” Domenicali said.
“I think that is important because Lewis is an incredible asset, not only for our sport, but for the world.
“And Lewis, he has in front of him a possibility to be, for the eighth time, a world champion.
“I’m pretty sure that he’s totally focused on this objective because this year there will be so many new things, so many new variables.
“I’m sure that he’s totally dedicated to make sure that he can really have his chance to be, for the eighth time, the world champion.”
Formula 1 will this season also do away with the pre-race ceremony during which some drivers opted to take a knee.
Hamilton was one of those who elected to make the symbolic gesture as he championed causes important to him, predominantly around the Black Live Matter movement.
“We have to not have to do politics,” Domenicali said.
“But I think now it’s a matter from gesture to action. Now the action is the focus on the diversity of our community, and this is the first step.
“I think that the gesture has been already important for the ones that believed that it was an important gesture,” he added.
“We need to respect everyone as always, but now is the time to move on and take some other action.”