Lewis Hamilton fuelled retirement talk after remaining radio silent following his title heartbreak at Abu Dhabi, where he lost out to Red Bull rival Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton is gearing up to return to Mercedes’ headquarters today for the first time ahead of the 2022 season, bringing an end to any speculation that he may quit F1.
Hamilton fuelled talk that he could sensationally retire after falling silent on social media following his season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title heartbreak, where Max Verstappen pipped him to the title following a dramatic safety car ruling which led to a final lap shootout.
But he recently returned to social media to let his fans know that he is ‘back’ and now, according to The Sun, Hamilton is expected to return to Mercedes’ Brackley HQ to grab a first look at the new car ahead of the 2022 campaign.
Hamilton will run through the finer details of Mercedes’ 2022 car – which will be a whole lot different with the new regulations brought in ahead of the upcoming campaign.
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After breaking his silence on the weekend, Hamilton then dropped a further hint about his future within the sport as he took to the streets of London for an early-morning run to build up his fitness again.
The seven-time world champion was up at the crack of dawn on Monday to head out for the run – joined by his long-time Mercedes trainer Angela Cullen.
But returning to Mercedes’ HQ is the clearest indication yet that he will remain in the sport, despite it being reported that he was going to wait until the FIA publish their findings into a review of the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton will be desperate to gain revenge over bitter rival Verstappen after the chaos that engulfed the Abu Dhabi finale in December.
Hamilton was in cruise control and on course to win an unprecedented eighth world title, winning by 11 seconds, before a late Nicholas Latifi crash with laps remaining began a series of chaotic events.
Hamilton should have won under the safety car, but Michael Masi – who has come under immense criticism – controversially changed his mind to allow the cars between the Brit and Verstappen to unlap themselves.
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The FIA race director then ordered the safety car off track, meaning the Dutchman was right on the tail of Hamilton before overtaking him on a single lap shootout.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who was utterly furious with the F1 finale, admitted his star driver was left ‘disillusioned’ with how events unfolded – swelling retirement talk even further.
However, it now appears Hamilton is back in the game before the new season gets underway in March at the Bahrain Grand Prix.