Lewis Hamilton’s plans for the 2022 Formula 1 season have been confirmed by Mercedes ahead of the team’s upcoming car launch.
The offseason between the 2021 and 2022 Formula 1 seasons is slowly coming to an end, with the latter scheduled to begin in just over a month on Sunday, March 20 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit.
Preseason testing is scheduled to take place from Wednesday, February 23 to Friday, February 25 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and another session is scheduled to take place from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12 at Bahrain International Circuit ahead of the season opener.
But several teams have yet to launch their cars for the 2022 season, and one of those teams is Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows are scheduled to launch their 2022 challenger, the W13, on Friday, February 18.
There has long been one key question about Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season: would Lewis Hamilton return in an attempt to win a record-breaking eighth world championship after the way by which he was denied that eighth on the final lap of the 2021 season finale?
Hamilton went silent after the 2021 season ended, and team principal Toto Wolff’s comments about him being “disillusioned” by the way it ended led to rumors that he would walk away from Formula 1 without ever competing in another race.
These rumors heated up as the offseason progressed and Hamilton remained silent, and several drivers were even linked to his seat.
But Hamilton recently returned to social media, and many took that return as an indication that he would indeed be back for a 16th season in Formula 1 and 10th with Mercedes in 2022.
While that was still not made official by his recent social media posts, now it is.
In a Mercedes release, they named Hamilton has one of their two drivers for the 2022 season, along with George Russell, who is replacing Valtteri Bottas.
Included in the release was the following line.
“You’ll also have the chance to hear from our 2022 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.”
As has been pointed out on a number of occasions, there was never truly a need for Hamilton to confirm a return to Formula 1 for 2022, even with the ongoing speculation of his retirement after the 2021 season ended in the manner it did.
Hamilton signed a new deal last summer to remain with Mercedes through the 2023 season, so there was no need for anybody to come right out and say that “yes, he will be back in 2022” after that.
But, yes, he will indeed be back in 2022.