Lewis Hamilton ‘not coming back’ to F1 says Bernie Ecclestone

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Ex-Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has thrown doubt over whether Lewis Hamilton will be involved next season. Ecclestone has a suspicion that the 36-year-old may snub F1 in 2022 after the manner in which he lost this year’s Drivers’ Championship.

Hamilton and Max Verstappen entered the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix locked on 369.5 points each, as the former looked to seal a fourth successive race triumph to surpass Michael Schumacher as the leading world titleholder.

But despite leading most of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, late safety car drama, with F1 race director Michael Masi central to the controversy, helped Verstappen overtake Hamilton on the final lap.

The Red Bull snatched the world title from him at the death, winning his maiden crown in a way that would’ve left a sour taste in his Mercedes rival’s mouth.

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And Ecclestone doesn’t believe Hamilton will return for the 2022 season after the disappointment of Abu Dhabi.

He has backed the seven-time world champion to conclude his racing career level with Michael Schumacher on seven world titles and enter the fashion industry.

He told Blick: “I don’t know [what is happening with Lewis Hamilton], but I don’t think he’s coming back. His disappointment is too big. And you can somehow understand it.

“Now it would be time to tackle his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur with seven World Cup titles like Michael Schumacher.”

Days after his crushing defeat in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton received his knighthood at Windsor Castle.

However, Ecclestone has suggested he doesn’t deserve the honour because he ‘hasn’t really done anything’ for his country.

“Only people who have really done something for the country should be knighted. I don’t think many people who are knighted now really deserve it,” Ecclestone explained.

“They all make a lot of money and donate some to charity, but they haven’t done anything specific for the country.”

Even Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has raised uncertainty over Hamilton’s F1 future due to the nature of Verstappen’s title win.

“I would very much hope Lewis continues racing because he is the greatest driver of all time,” Wolff explained.

“As a racer, his heart will say I need to continue because he’s at the peak of his game.

“But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday. He is a man with clear values.”

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