Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali expects Lewis Hamilton to be “fully charged” for the start of the 2022 season. There have been questions over whether Hamilton would return to the sport following the hugely controversial end to the previous campaign when he missed out on the title to Max Verstappen. However, Hamilton broke a two-month social media silence last week to declare he is “back” and has reportedly been visiting
Mercedes’ team factory in Brackley this week. If he does race again in 2022 he will be bidding for a record eighth world championship. “There was a total respect on his choice to be on silent mode,” Domenicali told Sky Sports News. “I think he will be fully charged for the start of the season. “Lewis has in front of him a possibility to be an eight-time world champion.
This is shocking. New emerging footage of @F1 Abu Dhabi GP containing previously unheard radio. Masi essentially executed the instructions of Jonathan Wheatley (Red Bull) without any second thought over its legality or fairness. This should be sickening listening to any fan. pic.twitter.com/XkOWmjGhH0
— Jordan ¹⁰³ (@F1_Jordan) February 8, 2022
So I’m sure he is totally focused on these objectives because this year there will be so many new things, so many variables, that will allow this championship to be so attractive.” Domenicali also said he was encouraged by Hamilton’s post on social media showing him smiling at the Grand Canyon. “I saw the last picture was a light of positivity on his face and his gesture.
I think that is important because Lewis is an incredible asset not only for our sport but for the world,” the 56-year-old Italian said. Findings from an inquiry into the title-deciding race in Abu Dhabi are expected to be revealed on the eve of the new season in Bahrain on March 20. This week there has been new audio shared of race director’s Michael Masi’s radio interaction with Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley in the final few laps of the race.
The clip appears to show Masi followed suggestions from Wheatley that ultimately allowed Verstappen to pass Hamilton on the final lap. If Hamilton does return then his duel with Verstappen will be the highlight of the season, but Domenicali hopes there will also be more rivalries formed. “My aspiration for F1 is there would not only be a rivalry between two drivers, but a rivalry between more drivers because we are in front of a step change for F1 in regards to the new cars,” he said.
“If the job will be done in the right way, I think the objective was very clear, to make sure the drivers who are a big asset for F1 will have the chance to do it because of the cars.
“My dream will be to have not only Max and Lewis fighting for that, but also having other drivers as part of the battle.”