Seven times World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who ended the 2021 title fight as runner up after the dramatic controversy of the Abu Dhabi GP, hasn't appeared in public since he was knighted by the Queen of England in December, not even showing up to the FIA awarding ceremony to receive the prize for the constructors' title he secured with Mercedes.
Hamiton, usually extremely active on socials, hasn't spoken to the press, or posted on his official accounts since the day before the last race of 2021, going as far as to unfollow every account on Instagram.
In spite of him having a deal with Mercedes for the upcoming 2022 season as well, there have been multiple rumors of the British driver retiring from F1 as a way to protest the decisions taken in the season finale by the FIA, and especially by former racing director Micheal Masi.
The Federation has since launched a "complete analysis" of what went down during the season finale, with its results set to be announced on the 18th of March, after the beginning of the preseason testings, but will it be enough to assure Hamilton that his and his team's complaints have been seriously taken into consideration?
Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle is sure that, no matter what happened last year, the former World Champion will be racing next year, as, during an episode of "The F1 Show," when asked if he believes that Mercedes or Hamilton are pondering the decision of leaving the sport as protest, he strongly denied it:
"Absolutely not, I don't buy any of it to be honest. I'm sure Toto has been asked by Lewis, 'what are you doing about this?' But Formula 1 is fantastically successful for the Mercedes-Benz brand, while Lewis is 37 years old and we know he's driving at his peak, incredibly determined and competitive," argued the British commentator.
"He'll be back."
Brundle also added that he doesn't believe Hamilton's choice to be dependent on the presence of Masi, disagareeing with colleague Craig Slater, saying that it would be a sign of lost determination if his solely reason to return on the grid was the presence of the racing director who made he choice of removing the safety car for a single last lap.
"I'm a little bit uncomfortable of a team and a driver starting to determine who is doing what in Race Control, or any other role in F1 - that's the tail wagging the dog to a certain extent."
"If I was a Formula 1 boss and my driver came to me and said I don't want to race anymore if that guy is staying around, I would immediately stop thinking about race control and thinking has my driver lost his motivation, which of course he hasn't.
"Lewis will be back and he'll be pressing the throttle ever harder," he concluded, highlighting his good opinion of the British driver.