Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver to decide on F1 future after Abu Dhabi inquiry - BBC Sport
January 11, 2022
January 11, 2022
Lewis Hamilton will not decide whether to return to Formula 1 this season until he sees the results of an inquiry into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton is "disillusioned" with F1, his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said, as a result of last year's title-deciding race.
Hamilton lost the championship to Red Bull's Max Verstappen after FIA race director Michael Masi did not apply the rules correctly in a late safety-car period. Insiders say Hamilton has lost trust in the governing body as a result.
One senior source told BBC Sport that Mercedes had dropped their appeal against the results of the race after agreeing a quid pro quo with the FIA.
This deal was said to be that Masi and FIA head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis would no longer be in their positions for the 2022 season. Mercedes deny that any such deal was reached, and insist that they dropped their appeal after receiving assurances only that the issue would be treated seriously and appropriate action would be taken by the FIA.
Wolff said last month that Mercedes would "hold the FIA to account".
He did not clarify how he intended to do that but said he had "confidence, trust and faith" that the teams and drivers could work with the governing body to create a "more robust decision-making process".
Several senior figures have told BBC Sport that they do not see how Masi can retain his position as race director, but some have cautioned that the FIA is in a difficult position because there is no obvious replacement.