Lewis Hamilton not in his 'last F1 contract' despite Mercedes retirement fears growing

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At the current moment in time, Lewis Hamilton continues to be the subject of retirement speculation. The Brit was beaten to F1 title glory by Max Verstappen last month and, ever since, has maintained silence. However, Toto Wolff’s previous comments suggest fans of the Mercedes star have no reason to fret.

Hamilton had been confident of winning the F1 title when he went into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

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However, the Brit was outraged when Max Verstappen claimed the prize instead in controversial circumstances.

Since then, Hamilton has been silent.

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And that’s led to suggestions he could be about to walk away from Formula One, despite his Mercedes contract being due to expire in 2023.

Last year, Hamilton extended his deal with the Silver Arrows after allowing retirement speculation to rumble on.

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And Wolff expressed a belief at the time that it wouldn’t be the 37-year-old’s last contract within the sport, despite Hamilton approaching the twilight years of his career.

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Lewis Hamilton not in his 'last F1 contract' despite Mercedes retirement fears growing
© GETTY Lewis Hamilton F1 news

“I’m pretty sure it’s not his last contract,” he said.

“I think he always flirts with the thought that this may be the last contract and in a way, it keeps the options open for the last.

“But no, it’s not going to be his last.”

Wolff’s previous comments suggest there’s a strong chance Hamilton will try and wrestle his title back from Verstappen later in the year.

And that’s what the F1 world want to happen, with the sport certainly richer for his participation.

Hamilton, if he does choose to return to the grid, will be out to make history.

Lewis Hamilton not in his 'last F1 contract' despite Mercedes retirement fears growing
© GETTY Lewis Hamilton F1 news

He’s currently level on seven F1 titles, the same amount as Ferrari icon Michael Schumacher – who retired from the sport at the age of 43.

Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks, however, that Hamilton is distancing himself from Wolff and Mercedes at the current moment in time.

“I interpret his silence as a way of distancing himself from Wolff,” Villeneuve told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You can lose in style, instead Toto behaved like someone who plays Monopoly but, because he is losing, he throws it all upside down.

“For me, he [Wolff] has damaged his image, and Hamilton is sensitive on this issue because he is thinking about his future in America, perhaps in Hollywood.

“It depends on how good the new Mercedes is, whether it will be easy to win or not.

Lewis Hamilton not in his 'last F1 contract' despite Mercedes retirement fears growing
© GETTY Lewis Hamilton F1 news

“Lewis is also a bit tired. He had quiet seasons after Nico Rosberg’s retirement, and he certainly doesn’t want to live a year like the last.

“He thought he could easily break records and that wasn’t the case, and then when you lose a title like that, it’s as if you had a diamond in your hand and then it’s taken away from you.

“It hurts much more than if Verstappen had led the whole race.”

Some rumours have arisen suggesting Hamilton’s future is dependent on what happens with Michael Masi.

The FIA chief is currently under investigation following the controversy in Abu Dhabi, where he awarded Verstappen victory.

Villeneuve, however, thinks Masi shouldn’t be removed from his post.

Lewis Hamilton not in his 'last F1 contract' despite Mercedes retirement fears growing
© GETTY Lewis Hamilton F1 news

“Michael Masi should not be removed,” he added.

“He worked under pressure with the two team principals, in particular Toto Wolff, who kept shouting in his ears for the last five races.

“He did everything right, or almost right, after that Safety Car.

“The only downside was he could have had everyone split a lap earlier, but it was right to restart the race.

“If anything, we need more precise rules now and maybe permanent stewards.

“The alternative is to allow everything and let the drivers punch each other after accidents, as happens in America!”

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