Lewis Hamilton's Strange Silence Has Some Wondering If He's Quitting F1

·2 min read
Photo credit: ATPImages - Getty Images
Photo credit: ATPImages - Getty Images

Seven-time champion and Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton could be poised to stun the F1 community, possibly by sensationally calling it a career.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is one of those hearing the rumors and is reportedly set to meet to discuss the matter with new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

"No, I don't think he will (retire)," Ben Sulayem, who has replaced Jean Todt, said when asked about the rumors.

However, Ben Sulayem added that Hamilton is not currently responding to messages.

"I sent him messages," the new top boss at the FIA said. "I think he's not ready now to be functioning 100% and you don't blame him for that."

Indeed, seven-time world champion Hamilton is not only maintaining total radio silence for now, he has unfollowed the official Formula 1 Instagram account. Hamilton, normally active on social media, has not posted to his Twitter account to his 6.9 million followers since December 11—the day before the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Photo credit: ATPImages - Getty Images
Photo credit: ATPImages - Getty Images

Hamilton's brother Nicholas explained on Twitch that the Mercedes driver is simply taking "a little break" from social media.

"He's Okay," Nicholas said. "What's he doing right now? He's watching the kids skiing."

Former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone thinks the 36-year-old driver will indeed quit, having phoned Hamilton's father Anthony.

"I felt immediately that he would not answer a question about his son's future," the 91-year-old Ecclestone said to hhe Swiss newspaper Blick. "So we only talked about business. I don't know, but I don't think he's coming back. His disappointment is too great. And you can kind of understand that.

Photo credit: STEFAN ADELSBERGER - Getty Images
Photo credit: STEFAN ADELSBERGER - Getty Images

"Lewis could only lose in 2022. Who knows how the new cars will reposition the field. With George Russell he would get an ambitious teammate, although I'm not as convinced by him as many others. And then let's not forget that in Verstappen, Hamilton has finally found an opponent equal to him.

"Now would be the time with his seven world titles like Michael Schumacher to carry out his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur."

F1 legend Alain Prost also thinks rumors of Hamilton's potential retirement could be real.

"It's hard to be in his shoes," four-time F1 champion Prost told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper. "He has reasons to stop and many reasons to continue. He's taken a mental hit, but it would be really sad if he's not there this season," Prost added.

Even Hamilton's boss says that the rumors need to be taken seriously.

"I very much hope that we will see him again. He is the most important part of our sport," said Mercedes team principal Wolff. "It would be an indictment for the whole of Formula 1 if the best driver decided to stop because of outrageous decisions."