Lewis Hamilton’s retirement confession with F1 future shrouded in uncertainty

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen analysed by Coulthard

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Lewis Hamilton’s future within Formula One remains uncertain in the wake of his defeat to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. The Brit has been silent ever since then, even unfollowing everybody on his Instagram account. And he’s previously confessed the prospect of quitting the sport regularly crosses his mind.

Hamilton had gone into last month’s deciding F1 race in Abu Dhabi hoping to claim victory.

However, an incident involving the safety car ultimately allowed Verstappen to steal glory on the final lap on the season.

It was a huge blow for Hamilton, who was denied the chance to eclipse Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles.

And, ever since, the Brit has maintained his silence.

There is currently no guarantee Hamilton will return to the sport, even if Mercedes are hopeful he’ll give F1 title glory another crack.

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So, with that being the case, it’s time to look at the Brit’s confession that retirement thoughts come to him in the wave.

In 2020, Hamilton also revealed that he’s pondered quitting the sport for four or five years while also acknowledging how lucky he was to still be racing.

“That thought [retirement] often happens to me. It’s like a wave,” he said.

“It comes and goes, there have been many occasions in the last four or five years when I didn’t know if I still wanted to try, sacrifice myself with training at the expense of personal life.

“There are other things I like to do. So many things I would like to try. But on the other hand I tell myself that I am so lucky to be doing this job.

“In a rather long period of time, the career in the car becomes only a small part, there is a lot of time to retire. It is a question of finding the balance.

“I tell myself that if I am still hungry and I train like I was a boy, which I am doing, and if I still get great results and I’m still hungry…

“If I find myself slower, lacking strength to train, and unmotivated, then I’ll know it’s time to stop.”

Hamilton did seem to still have the fire in his belly prior to the controversy in Abu Dhabi.

But, now, it’s unclear what his position is.

The 37-year-old was so close to glory and losing out, in the circumstances he did, appears to have acted as a trigger point.

Hamilton isn’t slower, however.

He’s still very much a driver at the top of his game, with the Brit just a mere lap away from title glory.

But former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Hamilton is ‘distancing himself’ from Toto Wolff at the current moment in time.

“I interpret his silence as a way of distancing himself from Wolff,” Villeneuve told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You can lose in style, instead Toto behaved like someone who plays Monopoly but, because he is losing, he throws it all upside down.

“For me, he [Wolff] has damaged his image, and Hamilton is sensitive on this issue because he is thinking about his future in America, perhaps in Hollywood.

“It depends on how good the new Mercedes is, whether it will be easy to win or not.

“Lewis is also a bit tired. He had quiet seasons after Nico Rosberg’s retirement, and he certainly doesn’t want to live a year like the last.

“He thought he could easily break records and that wasn’t the case, and then when you lose a title like that, it’s as if you had a diamond in your hand and then it’s taken away from you.

“It hurts much more than if Verstappen had led the whole race.”

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