Lewis Hamilton has addressed rumours he will quit F1 after Mercedes’ unsuccessful start to the season in a cryptic social media message on Facebook and Instagram. The seven-time champion appeared to shoot down any claims he will leave the sport, stating that he would be the one to decide when his time was up.
The 33-year-old said: “Working on my masterpiece, I’ll be the one to decide when it’s finished.” The caption was accompanied by an image of Hamilton standing in his Mercedes garage, confirming the cryptic message was about his racing career.
Hamilton addressed retirement rumours directly over the Imola Grand Prix weekend, claiming he was not a quitter. He said comments he had seen from certain individuals were ‘nonsense’ and ‘silly’, suggesting he would be at Mercedes to help smooth the cracks of their rough patch.
He added: “I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. We’ve had amazing times together. We’ve ridden the highs and lows together. I am 100 per cent committed to this team.
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“There’s nowhere else that I want to be. Just because we’ve hit a rough patch, it’s just not in my DNA to back out.” Mercedes have struggled with porpoising issues all season and appear not to enjoy the same power advantage as previous seasons.
This has pushed the Silver Arrows into the midfield with both Hamilton and George Russell being knocked out in Q2 in qualifying last weekend. Russell could recover to fourth during the course of Sunday’s race but Hamilton was stuck outside the points and could only salvage 13th.
It leaves the multiple champion down in seventh in the points standings and already well adrift of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Many other pundits have already weighed in on Hamilton’s future, with several claiming he might soon quit.
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After the first race of the season, Martin Brundle suggested the Briton would not enjoy racing if his car was not competitive throughout the season. Ted Kravitz also added to the debate in Imola, claiming Hamilton is likely questioning his future in the sport.
He said: “This is the ultimate fight, having a car that even if he does galvanise himself and the team, he is only capable of being a midfield runner. That is not the situation that Mercedes are used to. He’ll be questioning his future within the team as to whether he wants to hang around for that.”