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Lewis keeps us guessing as the drama continues

NEWS STORY
27/12/2021

Just in time for the Christmas break, Bernie Ecclestone spoke to the media claiming that Lewis Hamilton will not be returning to the F1 grid this season.

"I don't think he is coming back," he told German tabloid Blick, "I think he will not race next year.

"His disappointment in Abu Dhabi was too great, and I understand him," added the former F1 supremo. "Now tied for seven titles with Michael Schumacher, it is the perfect time for him to fulfil his dream and be a fashion entrepreneur.

"A couple of days ago I spoke with his father," he revealed. "I realised immediately that he did not want to talk about the future of his son, so we just talked about business."

While not exactly poo-pooing the claim, Toto Wolff has responded to another German media outlet, admittedly one dedicated to motor sport as opposed to sensationalist clickbait.

"We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all," he tells Motorsport-total.com. "He was winning the world championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you in an instant.

"Of course, you lose faith because you can't understand what has just happened," he adds. "The silence is there, of course, because he simply lacks words as well.

"Lewis was in the office with me and everyone else involved, and we were also in constant contact over those days," he continues, referring to the days leading up to the protest deadline and the FIA prize-giving, not to mention a certain ceremony at Windsor Castle. "In the afternoon, we were back in video calls to decide what to do.

"What I told him before was that he should take those few hours paying homage to his life's work so far and his performances, that he should try to take those positive moments with him. I think that's what he did. You could see that too, how honourable that was for him."

Of course, Bernie's comments - or rather the publication of them - was perfectly timed, for over the Christmas break none of the key players were available.

After all, not only was it the Christmas break, the fact is that the sport was coming out of one of the busiest schedules in its history and about to head into an even busier period, one featuring a (hoped for) game changing shake-up of the rules.

Adding to the drama is the fact that in recent days, Hamilton has maintained radio silence, apart from deleting those he followed on Instagram, a move guaranteed to get tongues wagging and mice clicking.

On social media, fans of Hamilton jumped to the seven-time world champion's defence, while the likes of Christian Horner, Max Verstappen and Bernie were subjected to the sort of abuse we have grown used to.

"I think he is just having a bit of a social media break, which I don't blame him for," explained Lewis' brother, Nicholas on Twitch, responding to fans wondering why the world champion hasn't been seen on social media since Abu Dhabi.

"Social media can be a very toxic place," he added, in a classic example of understatement. "But he's cool though. He's fine."

What one has to remember is that all those involved - ALL those involved - have an agenda, including Lewis, who is understood to be holidaying with his Father, Anthony in Colorado.

The fact that throughout the holidays F1 is still being discussed in the global media is exactly what Liberty Media wants, as does said media and the various F1 broadcasters.

The anxiety over Lewis' plans, and the reaction to them, in turn increases his value both to the sport and his employers.

To walk away from the sport, whatever one might think of the events in Abu Dhabi, would make Lewis look churlish, while some would eventually claim that he walked away because last year's fight took too much out of him and he couldn't face another.

There are all number of scenarios, and all play into the hands of Liberty Media and the likes of Netflix as the drama continues.

Fact is, Lewis is not one to walk away from a fight, and while the events of Yas Marina will have frustrated and angered him, they will not have broken him.

He is a fighter, and even if he feels that an eighth title is out of reach, he will not give up on the bid to attain it.

If you want drama, might we suggest the fantastic final series of Gomorrah, for as far as Lewis and his future in F1 are concerned we're all being played.

No doubt he does eye a future in fashion, or music, or acting or activism, but that can wait, for in the meantime there remains that little matter of payback for Abu Dhabi.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by alvarezh3, 01/01/2022 16:51

"Thank you Kenji, happy 22 to you too and everyone around here!

To our highly respected Editor; thank you for your hard work in keeping us informed, really like the practice, qualifying and race reports. Appreciate the weekly newsletter. Wish you the best this new year in health and fincial wellbeing as well as many more page "clicks" for the website."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 01/01/2022 0:35

"@ Rock Doc.... Yes, you are quite correct. What would be a revelation though would be to see the effect on the Sky Team!! They would be rendered speechless for a few moments and Hill would be forced to adopt a new ensign draped 'Gormley' like figurehead which would no doubt be Russell...destined to be the new British 'primo gato' according to the local media. Russell is fast and he has a few seasons under his belt now so he should be right up there but Wolff will clip his wings in season one....I think."

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3. Posted by kenji, 01/01/2022 0:17

"@ Alvarezh3.....Thanks for your comment. The Brits tried it on with the "Wallander' franchise by casting Branagh as the monosyllabic boring old Swedish original!!! Total failure IMO. It's allure was its bumbling nature naturally inherent in Scandi film. It should be noted that no one produces drama like the British. They are simply the best in the world and have an enviable track record. The list of great shows is very long and they can produce stunning original material although lately they have not contributed greatly but I put that down, not to a paucity of storylines but rather to the restrictions resulting from the dreaded virus!. Have a happy '22."

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4. Posted by alvarezh3, 31/12/2021 18:12

"@ Kenji is right again! Connery the only one true 007, the others are "second string" FAKE subs. :-)"

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5. Posted by Rock Doc, 31/12/2021 14:56

"@ Kenji is right. If Hamilton were to leave (which he won't) it would only be a couple of races before he was forgotten about and we are all talking about the previous race. Anyway who was the Fans favorite driver in the FIA pole. Liberty were very surprised when it wasn't Lewis.

F1 is a fickle mistress and as the drivers know, you are only as good as your last race. If you're not racing then you're not being talked about. We are in a fortunate period where there is a large pool of super talented young drivers across multiple teams. Behind Max and Lewis was some of the best racing this year. If Lewis does leave and the Red Bull isn't as quick we could be in for a classic year in 2022.

Lewis would quickly be consigned to history. Not sure he would like that."

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6. Posted by kenji, 31/12/2021 10:52

"On reflection I would like to say that Hamilton IMO, is not the raging favourite that he is being made out to be...neither is he indispensable. Yes, if he withdrew [ won't happen but let's play what if ] there may be a temporary loss of followers but it would not take long for a new champion to emerge and assume the mantle of 'Numero Uno'. I seem to recall the doomsayers uniting when Shumacher called it a day. F1 would fold...haha. It didn't and it is stronger than ever right now. The best thing to happen would be for him to vacate and then we'd see new talent rise to the occasion. It's happened in the past and it will happen again."

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7. Posted by kenji, 30/12/2021 23:51

"Whilst I admit that I'm rather bored by this continuous fascination with the 'Bond' business I must say that for me there was only ever one Bond and that was Sean Connery. That goes for David Suchet as Poirrot et al...sorry to disappoint Ed. hahaha"

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8. Posted by Superbird70, 30/12/2021 19:50

"@Editor Lazenby = Rosberg, Craig = Fangio"

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9. Posted by Editor, 30/12/2021 19:18

"Further to my previous post... why do I have a strange feeling that someone is going to claim that the Australian, George Lazenby was the best Bond?"

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10. Posted by Editor, 30/12/2021 18:55 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 30/12/2021 19:00)

"@ Bill Hopgood

Bang on.

Everyone involved, broadcasters, the media, sponsors and Liberty Media know how important Lewis is to F1... no matter what his detractors might claim.

Liberty will be worried, it rejected his demand for a stake in the business but has bent over in many other ways.

Whatever one might think, Lewis is the star of the show, the number one attraction.

There have been other, better James Bonds but be it Daniel Craig, or whoever next gets the gig, that will be the star, revered above all others by the producers and Bond franchise holders... until a successor is found.

By the way, it was the late Dr Lawrence who urged us to "follow the money""

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11. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 30/12/2021 18:34 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 30/12/2021 19:00)

"Eyeballs. It's all about the eyeballs watching the "show" and the "stars" and what those eyeballs choose to do with their hard earned.
As Christian Sylt (or what is Dr Mike Lawrence?) says, follow the money.
Do not underestimate how many eyeballs Lewis Hamilton pulls into F1.
The owners of F1 know it, we know it too.
If Hamilton was to "do a Rosberg" and quit then there will be a bit of concern at the money making division as there could be a ton of fans leave the sport too, and there will be no-one to push Verstappen next year (provided Red Bull make a good car).
All this means is a drop off of interest and eyeballs.
"

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12. Posted by kenji, 30/12/2021 10:35

"At the end of the day just how important is it that Hamilton race for another season? I, for one, would not miss him one jot! Like I won't miss Raikonnen either. He's just another name on the entrants list. I'd be more excited to see Piastri's name on there. I do sometimes think that the image of just one driver as the prime focus does nothing for all the other drivers who are doing their best in sub par machinery but given the chance are every bit just as good as the 'one'. Track relativity has a habit of equalising the competitive side of racing. In fact it heightens the level of expectation."

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13. Posted by alvarezh3, 30/12/2021 6:00

"We must remember that -at the end of the day- Hamilton does not race for free, there are quite a few pennies to be had if he shows up to work next year. For sure he must be taking that fact into consideration in any decision making regarding his present/future job."

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14. Posted by kenji, 28/12/2021 10:42

"@ED... Re Gommorah...the question is to whom do you assign the role of Gennaro and who gets to play Ciro de Mazio? IMO I would give Hamilton the role of Gennaro where the the illustrious name of Savastano is consigned to the record books. Then again de Mazio was 'the Immortal'.....?"

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15. Posted by TokyoAussie, 28/12/2021 3:23

"I had no idea such rumours were doing the rounds. I, for one, would be genuinely shocked if Lewis retired. Unthinkable, actually."

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