Lewis Hamilton, Abu Dhabi GP 2021
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
Lewis Hamilton could be ready to overwhelm the world of Formula 1, motor racing and world sports – by sensationally stopping.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is reportedly and immediately ready to meet for crisis talks with newly appointed FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“No, I do not think he will (retire),” said Sulayem, who has replaced Jean Todt when asked about the rumors.
However, he admits that Hamilton is not currently responding to messages.
“I sent him messages,” revealed the Emirates and the former rally driver. “I think he is not ready now to function 100 percent, and you do not blame him for that.”
In fact, seven-time world champion Hamilton not only maintains total radio silence for now, he has even ‘stopped following’ the official Formula 1 Instagram account.
His brother Nicholas explained on Twitch that the Mercedes driver is simply taking “a little break” from social media.
“He’s ok,” Nicholas said. “What is he doing right now? He sees the kids skiing.”
Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes the 36-year-old driver will actually stop after calling Hamilton’s father Anthony.
“I immediately felt that he would not answer a question about his son’s future,” the 91-year-old told Swiss newspaper Blick. “So we were just talking about business.
“I do not know, but I do not think he will return. His disappointment is too great. And you can understand that.
“Lewis could only lose in 2022. Who knows how the new cars will move the field,” Ecclestone said.
“With George Russell he would get an ambitious teammate, although I’m not as convinced of him as many others. And then we must not forget that Hamilton in Verstappen has finally found an opponent equal to him.
“Now would be the time with his seven world titles as Michael Schumacher to carry out his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur,” said Ecclestone.
F1 legend Alain Prost also believes rumors of Hamilton’s potential retirement may be real.
“It’s hard to be in his shoes,” the Frenchman told Le Journal du Dimanche. “He has reasons to stop and many reasons to continue.
“He’s got a mental blow, but it would be really sad if he is not there this season,” Prost added.
Even Hamilton’s boss insists the rumors must be taken seriously.
“I very much hope we will see him again. He is the most important part of our sport,” said Toto Wolff.
“It would be an accusation for the whole of Formula 1 if the best driver decided to stop because of outrageous decisions.”