F1: Contender plays down Hamilton quit rumors (Update)

Despite ongoing speculation of Hamilton’s possible retirement, Bottas fully expects his former team-mate to be lining up on the grid in Bahrain on March 20.

“I think the last race of this season was a good example,” Bottas said on a podcast with Supla.

“I saw him many days after the race and the mood was still like at a funeral.

“Even when he knows it wasn’t him who lost that race and he was robbed of it, you know, it’s hard to swallow it being taken away like that.”

“But you just wait and he’ll be back twice as strong as he does every time, that’s who he is.”

A British Telegraph’s source told the newspaper, “It’s all part of the drama.”

“The truth is Lewis is going to have a super competitive car this year and he’s got 50 million reasons for staying.”

In July 2021, Hamilton signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes worth around $54 million per year.

“Anyway, if he was going to retire he’d have said it by now wouldn’t he?

“Otherwise he’s just going to fuck the team because they’ve got no options.”

Race Director Michael Masi recently chaired the meeting to review the rules of how a pace car can be used in F1.  If Hamilton is holding out waiting for the FIA to fire Masi, the fact that Masi chaired the meeting basically sent a message to Hamilton to go pound sand.  Just race.

The outcome of the meeting was that Masi did not break any rules when he called the safety car in when he did. The rules clearly state he has the authority to do that.

So, the question is, should he have done it from an ethical standpoint.  The argument was that Masi wanted to give the fans a race to decide the title, which he did.  And the fans went wild with excitement.

The fact Mercedes screwed Hamilton by not pitting him for fresh tires, not once, but twice, so he could race Verstappen for the win, is ultimately what cost Hamilton the title.

Mercedes blew it.

And for once and F1 race wasn’t a parade.

January 26, 2022 

(GMM) A clause in Lewis Hamilton’s contract could mean in theory that rumors he is contemplating retirement are on the money.

However, most insiders suspect the seven time world champion is staying silent for now simply to fully process his devastating title loss to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, however, reports that a contract clause would theoretically allow Hamilton, 37, to quit Mercedes at any point before the end of 2023 and avoid consequences or legal action.

Rumors of Hamilton’s potential retirement might be music to the ears of a driver like Nyck de Vries, who is somewhere in the queue in the event of a sudden Mercedes vacancy.

The 26-year-old Dutchman won the most recent Formula E championship for Mercedes’ works team and tested Hamilton’s car after the notorious Abu Dhabi finale.

But when asked about the Hamilton rumors, de Vries insisted: “I don’t care about that.

“We’re working on (the Formula E season opener) Saudi Arabia so I don’t think there’s room for me to think about those sorts of scenarios,” he told the Dutch publication Formule 1.

Tellingly, de Vries is not jumping on the bandwagon of suggesting that Hamilton – rather than his countryman Verstappen – is the more deserving 2021 champion.

“Max is a fantastic driver who earned that championship 100 percent,” he insists. “He really is a worthy world champion.

“I think everyone agrees with that. On that Sunday in Abu Dhabi, Lewis did everything he could to win it, and decisions were made that have never been applied in that way.

“But that does not alter the fact that Max deserves it and is a great champion,” de Vries added. “I can also understand that Lewis is very disappointed about that and feels that they have stolen it from him.”