A possible resignation of Lewis Hamilton has been occupying the Formula 1 world for several weeks. Now it comes out: The Briton himself apparently thought about hanging up his helmet long before the season finale in Abu Dhabi. This in turn raises new questions in the guesswork about the future of the number 44.
With regard to Lewis Hamilton, the only thing that is clear is that nothing is clear. Hardly anyone really expects the Brit to resign, but nobody can really rule it out either.
A report from England now suggests that the record world champion was considering retiring long before the momentous final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. At least at Mercedes they should have been of this conviction.
Did Mercedes expect Hamilton to resign?
An unnamed insider close to the Mercedes team claims to the “Telegraph” that the Mercedes team expected a resignation last year. If Hamilton had won the race in Abu Dhabi and thus his eighth world title and trumped Michael Schumacher, it would have been over. The insider revealed that Mercedes was firmly convinced of this.
If this is true, it raises new questions. For example, after the contract of the Brit, who last summer extended until the end of 2023 with the Silver Arrows.
If the Mercedes bosses really expected a resignation, there must inevitably be some kind of exit clause in Hamilton’s contract. This could now enable his exit. It is not known whether this clause actually exists.
However, if there is no said clause, Mercedes could theoretically sue the superstar if he actually stopped. However, several sources told the Telegraph that they believe this will not happen under any circumstances. It is said that there will be neither a resignation nor a lawsuit.
Insider on Hamilton: “The truth is…”
An insider even told the newspaper that the hanging game was only staged. “It’s all part of the drama. The truth is Lewis is going to have a super competitive car this year and 50 million reasons (Hamilton’s salary, editor’s note.) have to stay. If he really wants to resign, wouldn’t he have said so a long time ago? That would put the team in a really shitty situation because they would be left with no options.”
Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard sees it similarly. He also told the Telegraph: “The big decision was that he signed a two-year contract last season. I don’t think Abu Dhabi will change anything. […] I think in truth the shock was for Toto [Wolff], the rest of the team and the fans are bigger than he is.”
Like so much in recent weeks, Coulthard’s words are nothing more than speculation. Only the Brit himself knows what Lewis Hamilton’s plan really looks like – but he remains silent.