Lewis Hamilton has been awfully quiet since the title showdown in Abu Dhabi. Of course, things did not go the way he intended to, with Max Verstappen snatching his record-breaking championship title away right at the cusp of the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks back.
Considering how the race played out, we wouldn’t be surprised if he felt that he could never win a title again, especially amidst the alleged ‘manipulation’. This triggered a wave of rumors, with many reckoning Hamilton will quit F1 with immediate effect.
One can shy away from them, as F1 is no stranger to such claims. However, none of the Mercedes crew, including the boss, Toto Wolff himself, have, so far, come forward to contradict them. In fact, Wolff recently made a statement that looked more like a wish than an affirmation.
So, let’s assume 2021 marks Hamilton’s final F1 season.
It was only months away that Hamilton signed a fresh 2-year contract with Mercedes, with Wolff further acknowledging that this wouldn’t be last either.
According to reports, the contract was worth around $147 million, making Hamilton the most expensive driver on the current grid. Hence, if the Briton does choose to quit the sport, he will lose the exact same amount of money.
What’s more, there is also the fear of Mercedes potentially imposing a fine on Hamilton for breaking the contract midway. However, that doesn’t seem as likely, considering the fact that the Brackley outfit did not fine Nico Rosberg either for quitting F1 at the last minute in 2016.
On top of that, there is also the respect that Mercedes have built for Hamilton over the years. The Mercedes driver has handed the team with unimaginable success. Hence, letting him walk away without much hassle is the least they could do in a bid to return the favor.
But, these are mere ‘what ifs’. Hamilton may or may not quit from F1. And we won’t know until the man himself opens up which he hasn’t done for two weeks now. So, all we could do is hope for the best, but, there is no denying that losing Hamilton would be a great loss to F1.