Lewis Hamilton’s retirement would ‘massively damage F1′ amid fears of legend’s departure

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Lewis Hamilton will celebrate his birthday on Friday, turning 37 years old. Mercedes may have dropped a small hint over Hamilton’s future this week as the team refuses to confirm whether their star will be back for the 2022 season. The team took to social media and tweeted an image of Hamilton along with the caption: “Adversity causes some to break; others to break records.” This could indicate that the seven time world champion intends to come back and recover from last season’s heartbreak.

Hamilton missed out on his eighth world title after a controversial finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month.

He led the race comfortably before a crash from Nicholas Latifi brought out the safety car.

Hamilton’s rival, Max Verstappen, capitalised to change his tyres and overtake the Mercedes man on the last lap to win his first championship.

The result was marred by controversy though, as Mercedes challenged the race result due to a call from race director Michael Masi which received criticism from many.

There has been speculation since surrounding Hamilton’s future in the sport, with Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff hinting last month that Hamilton has not yet decided what he will do.

Lord Peter Hain, Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula 1 and Labour peer, told Express.co.uk that he expects Hamilton to come back fighting next season.

However, he said if Hamilton does decide to pack it in, it will “massively damage” Formula 1 as a sport.

The Labour peer said: “He has got a contract for another two years. I think all of his fans, including me, will hope and expect he comes back to make sure he puts right the wrong that was done to him.

“I’m hoping he will, by his sheer ability, overcome this. He has overcome racism, prejudice. He’s come from a very humble background with an extraordinary father.

“He’s the poor black kid who made it to the top. Most of the other drivers come from very comfortable backgrounds. That’s no criticism of them.

“I think he will be back. Formula 1 will be massively, massively damaged if he doesn’t. He will retire at some point in the next few years of course.

“Formula 1 will have been boosted by his contribution to his sport. There’s no other Formula 1 champion who has had a greater reach into the average citizen right across the world than Lewis”.

Lord Hain also hit out at the FIA’s handling of the title decider in Abu Dhabi.

He said the race had been “rigged” to create a dramatic ending, and sympathised with Hamilton.

He continued: “As a lifelong Formula 1 fan, I thought it was a perverted outcome.

“The finish was effectively rigged by the stewards in order to produce a dramatic finale for the theatre rather than a racing outcome.

“I think it has left a sour taste unless you are a die hard Verstappen fan, but even many of them have admitted that it has left an unpleasant taste in their mouth.

“Ok, the rules are very complex for the average fan, but at least there is a consistency there. This was clearly contrived and manufactured to allow that kind of finish.

“I thought Lewis behaved with enormous dignity afterwards, going to the Red Bull pits to congratulate them, but he must feel absolutely gutted and that the rules are rigged against him.”

The FIA was approached for comment by Express.co.uk.


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The FIA released a statement following the race, and added that a “detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place.”

If Hamilton does return, he will be fighting for the title in a very different Formula 1 from last year.

The sport set for big changes going into the 2022 season, as new regulations will result in very different cars.

The changes will include a cost cap and an aerodynamics development sliding scale that favours teams who finish lower in the standings.

Regulations include other changes – a new, more “sustainable” synthetic fuel mixture will be used.

There are heavier and more robust tyres, 18-inch wheels and the return of wheel caps.

On the changes, Sky Sports analyst Anthony Davidson told the Telegraph: “We’ll only really know in that first test session when the cars hit the track for real and follow each other.

“Hopefully, because it’s [2022’s aero vs 2021’s] achieved in a different way aerodynamically, that allows them to follow closer. I think the jury’s still out at this stage.”

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