Bernie Ecclestone is convinced that Lewis Hamilton will RETIRE from F1 and pursue his dreams in fashion because the pain of his controversial world title defeat to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi is ‘too great’
- Lewis Hamilton was beaten to the 2021 Formula 1 title by rival Max Verstappen
- It happened in controversial circumstances on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi GP
- F1 icon Bernie Ecclestone does not believe Hamilton will make a return to F1
- Ecclestone is convinced the disappointment at losing is ‘too great’ to get over
- On Thursday, Hamilton unfollowed EVERYBODY over on his Instagram page
Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton’s days in Formula One are over due to the disappointment of losing the world title to Max Verstappen on the final lap being ‘too great’.
Verstappen seized his opportunity in Abu Dhabi when, with one lap remaining and Hamilton bunched up to his rival behind a safety car, the Dutchman passed the Briton to claim his maiden championship.
It was incredibly contentious and Mercedes launched two appeals before electing to drop their case.
But Ecclestone, 91, is convinced following a conversation with Hamilton’s father that the seven-time world champion will not return for the 2022 season, which starts in Bahrain in March.
Bernie Ecclestone (left) feels Lewis Hamilton (right) will walk away from F1 before 2022 season
Max Verstappen claimed the world title on the final lap in a controversial finish in Abu Dhabi
‘I don’t think he is coming back, I think he will not race next year,’ Ecclestone told Blick.
‘His disappointment in Abu Dhabi was too great, and I understand him.
‘Now, tied for seven titles with Michael Schumacher, it is the perfect time for him to fulfil his dream and be a fashion entrepreneur.’
Ecclestone added: ‘A couple of days ago I spoke with his father, and I realised immediately that he did not want to talk about the future of his son, so we just talked about business.’
The Dutchman overtook Hamilton on the final lap as he took advantage of his fresher tyres
Hamilton was gracious in defeat to Verstappen in the immediate aftermath of the decider in the desert, but he has since remained silent on the subject of that race and his F1 future.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff amplified concerns over Hamilton’s racing career after revealing that he was ‘disillusioned’ after Abu Dhabi, and the pair snubbed the FIA’s end of season awards ceremony in Paris last week.
More questions emerged on Thursday when the 36-year-old raised eyebrows by appearing to unfollow everyone on his Instagram page.
Ecclestone went on to add that in his opinion Hamilton has ‘nothing to gain’ in 2022 and he can ‘only lose’ now he has a rival that is on his level for the first time in years.
In light of Ecclestone’s prediction, many have turned back to Wolff’s comments.
Ecclestone (left) feels the disappointment of Abu Dhabi is ‘too great’ for Hamilton to get over
On Thursday it emerged that the seven-time champion had unfollowed everyone on Instagram
Wolff said: ‘Lewis Hamilton and I are disillusioned at the moment. We are not disillusioned with the sport — we love the sport with every bone in our body, and we love it because the stopwatch never lies.
‘But if we break that fundamental principle of sporting fairness and authenticity of the sport, then suddenly the stopwatch doesn’t become relevant anymore because we are exposed to random decision-making, that it is clear you may fall out of love with.
‘That you start to question if all the work you have been putting in — all the sweat, tears, and blood — can actually be demonstrated in terms of being the best possible performance on track, because it can be taken away randomly.’