F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has welcomed Lewis Hamilton's return to social media, saying he has "total respect" for his decision to stay silent over the winter period.
Having refrained from posting to his social channels in the two months following last year's controversial F1 title decider in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton emerged on Saturday when he shared a short update declaring that "I'm back".
Another update on Monday showed him training, along with the caption 'back at it', suggesting he is in full preparation mode for the new F1 season.
Domenicali has "total respect" for Hamilton's silence
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had previously described himself and Hamilton as "disillusioned" by the events in Abu Dhabi, giving no guarantees over his driver's F1 future.
But asked in an interview with Sky Sports how pleased he is that Hamilton now appears to have signalled that he will be returning, Domenicali said: "Oh, yeah. For what I know and what I see… I saw the last picture of Lewis with positivity in his face and in his gesture.
"I think that is important because Lewis is an incredible asset, not only for our sport, but for the world."
He added: "There was total respect [for] his choice to be in silent mode."
Will Hamilton go on to claim an eighth F1 title?
Domenicali expects Hamilton to come back fully refreshed and with the clear goal of surpassing Michael Schumacher's seven world titles outright.
"Lewis has in front of him a possibility to be an eight-time World Champion," Domenicali continued.
"I'm pretty sure he is totally focused on these objectives, because this year there will be so many new things, so many new variables, and that will allow this championship to be so attractive.
"I'm sure he is totally dedicated to make sure that he can really have his chance to be an eight-time World Champion."
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