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Toto Wolff Says Lewis Hamilton ‘Will Be Back’ In 2022, But The Mercedes Driver’s Future Is Still Debatable

Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, is facing quite a controversy after the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale. If you don’t know what happened on that crazy night at Yas Marina Circuit 2021, here’s a quick recap:

The final race of the 2021 Formula 1 season came down to an intense duel between Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen and Marcedes driver, Lewis Hamilton. In the first lap Hamilton “robbed” the lead from Verstappen at Turn 6 when he covered the gap by going off track.

Keisuke Kariya/ Flickr | Hamilton became the youngest driver to ever be contracted by a team in 1998

Many spectators did not consider it fair despite Hamilton’s attempt to give back some of the extra meters by going off track on the escape road. Verstappen, however, took his lead back by side sweeping Hamilton in the same way before sweeping across the finish line and winning the championship. Max duly celebrated his well-deserved victory while Mercedes protested at the result after the match.

Was Hamilton “robbed” from his eighth world championship title?

Canon EOS 70d/ Maxpixel | The ownership of the Mercedes F1 team is divided equally between three entities: Daimler AG, Toto Wolff, and INEOS

The FIA has announced an inquiry on the events at Yas Marina. Insiders reports have revealed that FIA race director, Micheal Masi, allowed some overtaken cars to un-lap themselves under a late safety car but that rule wasn’t applied on all cars. The 38-year-old British driver has remained silent since he lost the championship but Mercedes has reported Masi’s actions to higher authorities. The newly elected FIA president Mohammad Ben Sulayem has been in contact with Lewis since he was appointed and confirmed the questionable future of Masi.

Verstappen was pitted with fresh tires before the checkered flag in a hope that the race would restart, however, Mercedes couldn’t do the same since Lewis pulling up in the pit would have meant him losing his position especially because there was uncertainty about the decision to restart the race.

Rather than letting all lapped cars un-lap themselves, Masi let only five cars, that were between Lewis and Max to un-lap themselves while the others, including the two cars between the drivers, continued on the race. This left Lewis upset and utterly devastated by the significant loss of the title. With the extra grip of the new tires and the confusion about the restart, Verstappen claimed his first world title. 

Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff has suggested that there is a need to change the FIA race director to improve the whole system. Despite Hamilton’s two-year contract with Mercedes, after this incident, he feels the need to step down from his Formula One team and Sebastian Vettel had been suggested as his replacement. However, his final decision depends on the FIA’s report of the season finale which would be announced on March 18, at the 2022 season opener in Bahrain. 

Lewis will be back

Jen Ross/ Flickr | Hamilton has put himself in the ranks as one of the greatest drivers to ever compete in Formula 1

Toto claims that the eighth title is tempting for Lewis and he might soon be tempted to head back to the tracks. The star driver wouldn’t want to miss out on his grand victory of this season and ruin his career. Hamilton is worth $285 million and is an A-lister thanks to his achievements. He has had 103 grand Prix victories, 103 pole positions, and 182 podium appearances and is arguably one of the greatest drivers the world has ever seen.

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