Toto Wolff unsure over ‘disillusioned’ Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future

Hamilton lost out on the title to rival Max Verstappen on the final lap of the season

Sports Staff
Thursday 16 December 2021 15:03
Lewis Hamilton’s radio on final lap: 'This is getting manipulated man'

Toto Wolff has admitted he is unsure about Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula 1 revealing both he and his driver are “disillusioned” by the result of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton lost out on what would have been a record-breaking eighth world title after rival Max Verstappen passed him on the final lap of the race following a controversial decision by race stewards.

Mercedes and Wolff were left furious and lodged immediate protests against Verstappen’s win only to see them knocked back by the FIA.

They have since confirmed they won’t pursue any further appeal with Wolff’s attentions now turning to the future of his star driver and how he is feeling ahead of next season.

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

“When you look at it from the point of view of the last four races, he dominated on Sunday. There was not even a doubt who won the race and that was worthy of winning the world championship.

"So we will be working through the events over the next weeks and months. I think, 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, also because he is a man with clear values, it’s difficult to understand that happened.”

“Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment", he added. "Not disillusioned of the sport, we love the sport with every bone in our body, and we love it because the stopwatch never lies.

“But if we break that fundamental principle of sporting fairness and authenticity of the sport then suddenly the stopwatch doesn’t become relevant anymore because we are exposed to random decision-making, then it’s clear that you fall out of love with it.

"You start to question if all the work that you have been putting in, all the sweat, tears and blood, can actually be demonstrated in terms of bringing the best possible performances on track, because it can be taken away randomly.

“So it’s going to take a long time to digest what has happened on Sunday. I don’t think we will ever [get] over it. That’s not possible. And certainly not him as a driver.

“I would very much hope that the two of us and the rest of the team, we can work through the events, we can – together with the FIA and with Formula 1 – utilise the situation to improve the sport going forward. But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.”

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