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Lewis Hamilton

F1 legends have their say on whether Hamilton will be back

Will Lewis Hamilton continue in F1 or decide to walk away from the sport? It's the question dominating the build-up to the 2022 season. RacingNews365.com presents the thoughts of various F1 legends on the matter.

Hamilton Brazil
To news overview © Mercedes

It is not guaranteed that Lewis Hamilton will take to the Formula 1 grid for the upcoming season as his radio silence continues in the wake of last month's controversial title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Overhauled by Max Verstappen on the final lap of the race following a contentious Safety Car period, Hamilton missed out on what would have been a record eighth world title.

Hamilton's last words in public came during the post-race interviews at the Yas Marina Circuit, though he did receive his knighthood in the UK a few days later, before skipping the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala.

Speaking after the finale, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted that he and Hamilton were feeling "disillusioned", while new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem described the Briton as "broken" by the events.

As car launches and pre-season testing for F1's new era draw closer, RacingNews365.com has gathered the thoughts of several legends of the sport to hear what they think Hamilton will ultimately decide to do.

Alain Prost

"I can understand Lewis' position, because he had done a fantastic race [in Abu Dhabi]," Prost told RacingNews365.com.

"He was quicker, he had almost the championship in the pocket. And don't forget that it was [going to be] his eighth championship, so that means a lot for him.

"Also, in this case, you can be very disappointed, because you don't know what's going to happen in the future. You never know that you could be in the same position because of the new rules.

"I think it's a 50/50 decision for Lewis but I hope, I really hope, he is going to stay and fight again. I don't know, this kind of decision is very personal.

"But I think he will be back. I hope he will be back, because that [him leaving] would be very bad for Formula 1, for sure."

Mario Andretti

"I would think [he will return]," Andretti commented. "I think he would probably even do a disservice to himself, perhaps, to leave under negative circumstances – from his standpoint.

"It's hard to get into somebody else's head, but from where I stand, I would say, 'You know what, I'm going to go out there and show them'.

"He has a big incentive to be alone, with an eighth world title, so what more incentive do you want? He has so much to look forward to, to go out there and still battle. He's got all the ingredients to be able to fight, so that's the way I see it.

"I'm sure that all of his fans would love to see that, and let this saga continue, with this great rivalry between the two teams and two great drivers."

			© Michael Potts / RN365
	© Michael Potts / RN365

John Watson

"Anything is possible," Watson said of the situation. "I can understand what Lewis is feeling and going through, because he had done his job perfectly.

"Up until that point where [Nicholas] Latifi had his accident, he was the 2021 World Champion. He had done what he had to do, and he did it beautifully.

"All these questions are questions that are going to have to be examined and answered, in a satisfactory way, for Mercedes. If that outcome isn't achieved, then I don't know what they're actually going to do.

"Because Lewis needs to know what are the ground rules, and who's going to operate these ground rules. Cheated is not the right word, but he was done out of the championship by the actions of the Race Director."

Jacques Villeneuve

"Who knows [what will happen]? Villeneuve is quoted by Motorsport.com. "Nobody expected [Nico] Rosberg to not come back and suddenly he just woke up one morning and told everyone he actually wasn't passionate about racing in a way.

"That doesn't seem to be the case with Lewis, but who knows? It's really a pickle to know what's going on in the head of people when the season is very long.

"You believe you know where it's going to turn out and it doesn't turn out how you expect, and you feel it's been taken away from you.

"It's good for the sport anyway because Lewis now has to come back and try to win his eighth championship and be aggressive to try to win it."

Martin Brundle

"Absolutely not. I don't buy any of it, to be honest," Brundle told a special episode of The F1 Show on Sky Sports F1, when asked if Hamilton and Mercedes could consider leaving F1 over the situation.

"I'm sure Toto has been asked by Lewis, 'What are you doing about this?' But Formula 1 is fantastically successful for the Mercedes-Benz brand, while Lewis is 37 years old and we know he's driving at his peak, incredibly determined and competitive. He'll be back."


Will Hamilton continue in F1?

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