‘Just rumours’: Lewis Hamilton retirement talk played down by FIA president

Lewis Hamilton has been said to want to walk away from the sport

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says it’s “just rumours” that Lewis Hamilton will retire from Formula 1 before the 2022 season.

There have been reports the British driver doesn’t want to race again due to the circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton was overtaken on the last lap by Max Verstappen to be denied a record eighth world title after race director Michael Masi allowed some cars to unlap themselves and others not.

Hamilton has hardly been seen in public since, only being pictured at Windsor Castle after being given his knighthood.

Ben Sulayem said: “No, I don’t think so, they are just rumours. Has he declared that he is not going to run? Exactly, no. When you are a driver, you speak for yourself and not what others say about you.

“I trust that this is not the case. Lewis is an important part of the sport and of F1, his achievements, Verstappen is there…I am sure we will find a very exciting F1 next season.”


Mercedes did lodge protests after the Abu Dhabi race but they were dismissed and the team dropped their official appeal. The team principal Toto Wolff has spoken about Hamilton’s silence in the wake of the decision but there was no mention of retirement.

“We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all,” said Wolff, quoted by Motorsport-total.com. “He won the World Championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you from one second [to the next]. Of course you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened.

“The silence is there, of course, because he simply lacks words as well.”

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