Nearly a month on from F1 2021’s highly-contentious finale, and uncertainty remains around Lewis Hamilton’s future in the sport ahead of the new season in March; FIA has said it is conducting a review into the events of last month’s Abu Dhabi GP.
Hamilton lost the world championship to Max Verstappen in hugely controversial circumstances on the final lap of 2021’s season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on December 12.
Mercedes withdrew their appeal against the result after the FIA pledged an investigation into the events surrounding the Safety Car procedures. That probe was announced on December 15 – could any delay to its findings impact whether Hamilton carries on to try to win an eighth world crown in the new season? “In terms of Hamilton coming back to Formula 1,
having the appetite to do so and getting over the ‘disillusionment’ that his team boss Toto Wolff said he felt after Abu Dhabi, the onus is on the FIA to deliver on the pledge they made before Christmas to investigate the happenings on that final lap and to come up with some findings. “It is understood that Mercedes want to see something tangible. It’s been put to me like this: the longer this drags on then the worse the Lewis Hamilton situation is, and that is from a senior source.”
The 23-race 2022 campaign begins on March 18-20, with winter testing for the all-new generation of cars underway from February 23. Hamilton made a cryptic reference to his future in his brief post-race interview with Jenson Button: “We gave it everything and never gave up and that’s the most important thing. We’ll see about next year.”