Bernie Ecclestone has spoken out on Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 future, after revealing the phone call he had with Lewis Hamilton ’s dad after the dramatic season finale at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton was denied a record eighth world title in agonising fashion after Max Verstappen pipped him on the very last lap to collect his maiden F1 championship.
The victory was no doubt a controversial one though after Verstappen took advantage of a contentious call from FIA director Michael Masi in the dying stages to secure his victory.
Following the race Hamilton was of course left both angered and heartbroken with the finish, and hinted in his post-race interviews that he may not even return to the track in 2022.
Since the race the seven-time world champion has had a fairly quiet couple of weeks, uploading nothing to his popular Instagram page despite usually being a regular user.
This silence has again led fans to believe that Hamilton could be contemplating a shock retirement, however Ecclestone has revealed he has had some contact with the Englishman’s team.
When asked if he had spoken to Hamilton the 91-year-old told Blick : “No, but a few days ago with his father.
"I immediately felt that he wouldn't answer a question about his son's future. So we only talked about business!"
Whilst the former F1 boss revealed he did not discuss Hamilton’s future, he personally believes that the heartbreak of Abu Dhabi may result in the 36-year-old to not return for 2022.
He continued: “I don't think he's coming back. His disappointment is too big. And you can somehow understand it.
"Now it would be time to tackle his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur with seven world titles like Michael Schumacher."
If the Englishman does decide to call time on his remarkable career it would no doubt leave a hole in the Mercedes team, and the sport as a whole.
Will Hamilton return for the 2022 season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
However, even if Hamilton does return to the track in a hunt to reclaim the title he has dominated in recent years, Ecclestone believes he could well struggle to mount a championship charge.
"But Lewis could only lose in 2022,” he added.
“Who knows how the new cars will reposition the field? With George Russell he would have an ambitious team-mate, of whom I am not as convinced as many experts, by the way.
"And then we don't forget about Verstappen. With him, Hamilton has finally found an equal opponent after many years.”
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