Max Verstappen explains Lewis Hamilton F1 retirement belief

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Max Verstappen says he is adamant Lewis Hamilton will race next season, after speculation he could walk away from Formula One after the controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi. Rumours have been circulating surrounding the seven-time world champion after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted he and Hamilton were feeling “pain and distress” after the Dutchman’s victory at Yas Marina.

But Verstappen felt Hamilton will return, once the dust has settled.

“Normally, Lewis has to come back,” Verstappen told Servus TV. “Those words came to my mind after the race, but I think for him it was a normal emotional reaction. So I count on him coming back.”

Wolff was asked directly if he had doubts about the seven-time champion returning next season with his Mercedes contract due to expire in 2023.

He replied: “Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment.

“Not disillusioned of the sport, we love this 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, and it’s clear you fall out of love with it.

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“You start to question that if all the work 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 for us to digest what happened on Sunday. I don’t think we will ever get over it. That’s not possible, and certainly not for him as a driver.

“I very much hope the two of us, and the rest of the team, work through the events, and we can, with the FIA and F1, utilise the situation to improve the sport going forward.

“But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.

“To be honest, still today, I can’t even understand what happened. I’m in disbelief, It still feels surreal.

“On a human level it is so difficult because it is so disappointing.”

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Hamilton and Mercedes were left bitterly disappointed by the final few laps of the race after Verstappen crossed the line first following a contentious ending to the race.

With just five laps remaining, Nicholas Latifi crashed in his Williams bringing out the safety car.

But the drama followed after the FIA race director Michael Masi instructed the five lapped cars between leader Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves but didn’t allow the entire field to do the same before getting racing back underway with essentially a one-lap sprint to the end.

Mercedes were left fuming as Verstappen swept past the seven-time world champion, who had led much of the race, in a last-lap dash to the chequered flag.

Pushed on if he felt Hamilton could retire, Wolff replied: “As I said before, we love this sport but then you start to question. You must never lose the big context of life. Formula 1 is just a sport, much worse things happen out there and we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking this is the most important thing in the world.

“But it’s our little microcosm where we have created values and beliefs and many of those were kicked on Sunday.

“So I would very much hope Lewis continues racing because he is the greatest driver of all time.

“When you look at it from the point of view of the last four races, he was dominant. There wasn’t even a doubt who won the race, and that was worthy of winning the world championship.

“So we will be working through the events of the next weeks and months and as a racer, his heart will say ‘I need to continue’ because he is at the peak of his game.

“But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday because he is also a man with clear values and that it’s difficult to understand that happened.”

https://allmysportsnews.com/racing/f1/max-verstappen-explains-lewis-hamilton-f1-retirement-belief/
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