What F1 world is saying about Lewis Hamilton retirement as Mercedes rumours swirl

F1: Hamilton ‘shouldn’t be complaining’ says Ecclestone

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At the current time of writing, Lewis Hamilton’s future remains the source of much debate. The Brit was recently beaten to the F1 title by Max Verstappen, losing out in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi. Now, his involvement next season is currently up in the air.

Though Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes until 2023, there’s no guarantee the Brit will return.

He’s still hurting from his finale defeat to Verstappen, especially given the controversial manner in which his Red Bull rival reigned supreme.

Hamilton has been silent ever since missing out on glory, unfollowing everybody – including his own dog – from his Instagram page.

That’s fuelled the rumours that he could be about to call time on a glittering career that, so far, has resulted in seven titles and 103 race wins.

Express Sport will now take a look at what some of the biggest figures within F1 have said about the Brit and what will happen next.

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Bernie Ecclestone

Speaking recently, Bernie Ecclestone revealed he’d spoken with Hamilton’s father.

And the 91-year-old then expressed a belief that the Mercedes star could be about to walk away.

“I don’t know [what is happening with Lewis Hamilton], but 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 Cup titles like Michael Schumacher.”

Toto Wolff

In the aftermath of the defeat in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff admitted he was unsure if Hamilton would be able to rally himself to go again.

“It’s going to take a long time for us to digest what has happened on Sunday,” he said.

“I don’t think we will ever come over it, that’s not possible.

“And certainly not him [Hamilton] as a driver.

“I would very much hope the two of us and the rest of the team we can work through the events… But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.”

Wolff has, however, since insisted Hamilton’s silence isn’t down to retirement being on his mind.

Instead, the Austrian suggested it was because the wounds were very much still raw.

“We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all,” said Wolff, quoted by Motorsport-total.com.

“He won the World Championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you from one second [to the next]. Of course you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened.

“The silence is there, of course, because he simply lacks words as well.”

Valtteri Bottas

Sticking with the Mercedes camp, Valtteri Bottas feels Hamilton is still able to rub shoulders with the best drivers.

And he believes that means the Brit will be back for more, saying: “With Lewis what has been really impressive is that every year he’s still able to develop as a driver.

“He’s got such a big experience of Formula 1 but still he’s been able to learn more and for sure I’ve developed myself as a driver, but so has Lewis.

“It doesn’t come automatically, he works for it because he knows the competition is getting tougher and tougher.

“I’ve definitively learned many things from him during these five years, driving wise, set-up wise, lots of small things here and there.

“It’s been impressive to see him still develop and not get too comfortable.

“He always wants more out of himself and the team around him. It’s been the same thing every year, he keeps getting better.”

Max Verstappen

Even Hamilton’s enemy, Verstappen, doesn’t want the Mercedes star to quit.

“I can understand being unhappy about what happened after the first few days,” he said.

“But you also understand that this is racing and these things sometimes happen.

“I think it even happened to him before (in 2008) so I think he knows that.

“I think Lewis should just look at what he has achieved. That should comfort him and encourage him to keep going, because he can still fight for the eighth title again next year.

“So I see no reason for him to give up or stop now.”

Domenicali and Marko

F1 supremo Stefano Domenicali is another who believes Hamilton will come back to try and win another title.

“Lewis Hamilton? I’m sure he will recharge his batteries and come back with even more desire than before to win the eighth world title,” he said earlier this month.

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko also isn’t expecting retirement.

“Lewis will do everything to win the eighth title,” he said.

“He is still far too good to stop. He was able to deal with defeat before and can do so now.”

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