Lewis Hamilton “will come back” to F1 for the 2022 season if the FIA can “demonstrate” they have made changes to the rulebook, according to Karun Chandhok. Chandhok has warned the FIA will need to demonstrate to Hamilton F1 is a “fairer sport” in 2022. However, he is sure the Mercedes driver will return as his quality of driving was “exceptional” towards the end of 2021.
Speaking to Express Sport, Chandhok said: “My personal instinct is that he will come back. “I think he showed in the last four races of last season his hunger to win and his inherent speed has not dimmed at all. “What he did in those last four races, the quality of driving in those last four races was exceptional. “It was just as good as anything from Lewis in the last 14 years.
“As long as he can come back in the right frame of mind. “As long as the FIA can demonstrate to him they have made changes and put mechanisms in place to make the sport a fairer sport for what Lewis perceives to be an injustice towards him, he will come back.” Hamilton lost the 2021 championship in dramatic circumstances in Abu Dhabi after a late-race safety car ended hopes of an eighth title.
He was dominating with just a handful of laps to go before a crash from Nicholas Latifi gave title rival Max Verstappen a free pitstop. As the safety car pulled in, Verstappen had much better tyres and passed Hamilton to take the lead within just five corners of the restart. However, the failure to allow all lapped cars to overtake the leaders before the restart caused some controversy in the paddock.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned Hamilton has become “disillusioned” with F1 over what happened. The FIA is conducting an investigation into what happened at the end of the race with a report set to be finalised by February 3. However, experts have warned the investigation could determine whether Hamilton does return. F1 reporter Craig Slater recently told Sky Sports F1 Mercedes want to see “something tangible” from the report before the season gets underway.
He said: “[Mercedes] believe the onus is on the FIA to deliver on the pledge they made before Christmas to investigate the happenings on that final lap. “Come up with some findings, they want to see something tangible from that investigation, and they want to see it sooner rather than later. “The longer this drags on, the longer we don’t get a result to that investigation and some findings from the
FIA in terms of how F1 is to conduct itself going forward, then the worse the Lewis Hamilton situation is. “That’s from a senior source close to that situation, which I think is significant.”