Since last week a version was installed on the possible retirement of Lewis Hamilton from Formula 1 that took strength from where it came, Toto wolff, none other than the boss and shareholder of the German team, but also a close friend of the seven-time world champion. It was not a rumor that circulated on social networks or a journalistic rumor. Based on the words of the Austrian team-manager, we must begin to analyze what possibilities there are that this bomb will explode.
Hamilton knows how to get noticed, and last week he got people talking more about him than about Max verstappen, who beat him on the last race date in Abu Dhabi, where with his Red bull He prevailed at the Yas Marina circuit in a controversial finish, since on the last lap he realized Lewis, who had led the entire race, except for his arrest to change the tires.
The silence of the almost 37-year-old English pilot (01/07/1985), drew attention. He spoke in the note that went live on the broadcast with Jenson button, F1 champion in 2009, and then he was absent from the press conference and was silent on his social networks, where he usually makes his reflections.
The absence of Hamilton at the gala of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) last Thursday generated more controversy and added gunpowder to the testimonies of Wolff the same day, when he said about Hamilton that “As a pilot he will see in his heart that he must continue because he is at the top of his form, but he will have to overcome the pain, since he is a man with strong values”, responded when asked about the future of the British runner.
The speculation of a possible retirement of Hamilton had more support in the concrete last year, when at the end of the season there was no renewal. Even at the start of 2021 he was out of F1 if you talk from a technical-legal aspect. But he signed for another season and in July he extended his relationship with Mercedes for another two seasons.
What happens with Hamilton is that being a number one has the backpack to be able to make any decision. If he eventually wanted to step aside, it would not affect his career in which he is the most successful rider in the history of the Máxima with seven championships, as well as Michael Schumacher. In addition, being close friends with Wolff and in the face of the team-manager’s words when highlighting the “injustice they suffered”, his resignation would not be an impediment.
Lewis took 2021 as the real chance of being able to get his eighth crown with a technical regulation in which Mercedes confirmed that he had the best car and capitalized his eighth Constructors crown. With the regulation change for 2022, although the German team is expected to be ahead, it will be a shuffle and give again to the radical aerodynamic changes that the cars will have, with the return of the ground effect after 40 years, a system that allows the car to stay firmly on the ground through better airflow under the chassis and speed up when cornering. Anyway, Hamilton knew when he signed his renewal with what he was going to find in the coming financial year.
While the climate, far from lowering its decibels, grew in tension before the statements of the new president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who said “there is no forgiveness” for the absence of the British to the gala where the annual awards are given. Hamilton was not seduced by his “Personality of the Year” award.
Lewis felt there was manipulation in the definition of the title. It was in the last laps in Abu Dhabi when in the caution to withdraw the Williams from Nicholas latifi, Race Director Michael Masi ordered the laggards to let him pass Verstappen, who was second in the qualifier but had five cars ahead. This paved the way for the Dutchman, who with soft tires (they adhere better to the asphalt and are faster) beat Hamilton on the last lap, won the race and the title.
After a Sunday of high tension, Hamilton had the hug in his land when was made a Knight of the Crown in the United Kingdom. He is a personality who has already overcome sports and in his country he has a strong idolatry. It is one of its maximum references in the third millennium.
But at that event he also did not speak to the media and on Friday, when he returned to the Mercedes base, he did not issue an opinion. He was smiling with the mechanics and all the team members. He accompanied in a good way the farewell of Valtteri Bottas.
In this context, Hamilton has that rebellious anti-system through which he expressed, for example, his discomfort of running in Arab countries, the political situation of the category is not liking him. Something similar happened with Ayrton Senna in 1989 when after his gig with Alain Prost at Suzuka, excluded him from his triumph in Japan and prevented him from reaching the last date in Australia with chances for the crown.
Senna then won two more championships in 1990 and 1991 and being the best in the world three decades ago, he felt he could make any decision if he did not feel comfortable. Several dialectical battles are remembered with the then president of FISA, Jean-Marie Balestre, which was the sporting body of the FIA. The leader was French, like Prost.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was in 1992, when Prost announced his return after a sabbatical, he demanded in the contract with Williams that he would accept any teammate for 1993, except Senna, who was upset and faced with the superiority of the English team that he year swept away Nigel Mansell, on December 20 he accepted the invitation of his friend, Emerson Fittipaldi, to test an IndyCar car. Ayrton’s photos of the car were an atomic bomb and made F1 tremble. It should be remembered that at that time the American category was very strong and managed to attract former F1 champions such as Mansell himself, who was champion in North America in 1993. Later, the McLaren team boss, Ron Dennis, spoke with him and convinced him to continue one more year, but it was in a difficult setting where the São Paulo, after an initial agreement of five competitions, had a race-by-race contract.
Senna, at that time, was the best and worldwide in sport he was at the height of Michael Jordan, to name the number one in basketball of that time, when he crushed with the Chicago Bulls and won the gold medal with the “Dream Team ”At the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Today Hamilton, by his own weight and influences, is on a par with Ayrton and knows how to express his discontent.
It should be remembered in the post-season tests of the previous week also carried out in Yas Marina, where the pilots turned with the tires that will be released in 2022, it was the brand new partner of Lewis, his compatriot George russell the one that turned and started to get kilometers ahead of him with these tires.
Who would replace Hamilton? If the English kicked the board, Mercedes could turn to the Dutch Nick de Vries, Formula E champion with the German team and third driver of the Brackley team in F1. Although the question arises whether it would be worth “burning” a young talent (26 years old): in the event of Hamilton’s absence, it would be best to have one more year at Valtteri Bottas, who signed with Alfa Romeo for 2022, which in turn fired Antonio Giovinazzi.
This scenario in which the pilot staff can move can only be generated by a heavyweight like Hamilton, whose continuity became the strongest issue in the last days of 2021. The Englishman again stole attention and again showed that It is as fast below as it is above the car.
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