Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes factory visits 'not confirmation' he will keep racing in F1

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Lewis Hamilton has been at the Mercedes factory this week – but that apparently doesn’t mean he is set to return to F1 next season. The Stevenage-born ace has been tipped to turn his back on the sport following the controversial ending to the 2021 season, which saw him miss out on landing a record eighth championship.

Hamilton had looked set to take the F1 title in December as he led the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

But Williams’ Nicholas Latifi crashed into a wall in the latter stages, which resulted in a safety car being deployed.

Hamilton stayed on the track to ensure he didn’t relinquish his lead, while title rival Max Verstappen took the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres.

Race director Michael Masi then allowed five cars that had come between the two protagonists to overtake and move out of the way.

Verstappen was then given permission to pull level with Hamilton for a one-lap shootout and took advantage of his new tyres to finish first and bag his maiden F1 title.

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He also took the opportunity to post videos of himself undertaking physical training.

But, according to the BBC, Hamilton’s involvement this week shouldn’t be interpreted as confirmation that he intends to compete next season.

The veteran is still awaiting the conclusion of the inquiry around the circumstances which resulted in Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi victory.

And if he isn’t happy with the outcome, he may yet decide he has no future in the sport.

Hamilton is level on seven F1 championships with legendary German driver Michael Schumacher.

The Briton won his first F1 title in 2008 before winning back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015.

And he won four more titles between 2017 and 2020 before Verstappen ended his spell of dominance last season.

Verstappen will be chomping at the bit to take to the track once again this year and prove his success last time out wasn’t a fluke.

But it remains to be seen whether Hamilton will line up in his Mercedes car when the season gets underway in March.


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