HomeSportsFormula 1Mercedes F1 chief addresses Lewis Hamilton's ongoing social media blackout

Mercedes F1 chief addresses Lewis Hamilton’s ongoing social media blackout

Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff feels that Lewis Hamilton’s silence since the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could simply be a “lack of words” to explain the sense of injustice that was dealt to him in the final lap of the race.

The British racer looked to have been cruising to his eighth F1 world title, until a late safety car turned the race on its head. It not only allowed Max Verstappen to reduce the 11 second deficit, but a controversial call from FIA race director Michael Masi, saw him end up right behind Hamilton when the safety car pulled into the pits with one lap remaining.

The Red Bull Racing driver was on the quicker soft compound tyres after an aggressive strategy from his team, and that helped him easily pass his Mercedes title rival, who was on 40-lap old hard compound tyres. The ending of the 2021 season could not have been scripted better, and the Silver Arrows were incensed at losing an eighth Drivers’ championship crown.

Mercedes’ double protest was rejected by the race stewards after the race, and the German team decided not to push through with their plan to appeal against the decision. Wolff accepted defeat, but made it clear that it will take a long time for the team and Hamilton to get over the incidents that saw Verstappen claim the title in Abu Dhabi.


Max Verstappen won an epic season-long battle with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

Wolff has spoken about working with the FIA to ensure such situations do not arise in the future, while Hamilton has been silent in the face of his devastating defeat. Apart from being pictured when he was knighted by Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, and appearing in a video at the Mercedes factory, he has been lying low.

The seven-time champion has been off social media, and even failed to post during Christmas to greet his legion of fans. Wolff believes the only reason could be because Hamilton is at a loss for words to speak about his most difficult day in F1 since making his debut in 2007. There has also been talks about Hamilton potentially calling time on his F1 career, but that has been dispelled in recent days.

“We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all,” Wolff said, as 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,” the Mercedes F1 chief added.

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff is hoping for a clean title fight next weekend
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/POOL via AFP
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