David Coulthard says Lewis Hamilton will be ‘bored’ of talk surrounding his controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix defeat as the Mercedes star’s future hangs in the balance with the new F1 season less than two months away
- David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton will now be ‘bored’ of the controversy
- Max Verstappen controversially beat Hamilton in a one-lap shootout last mont
- The Mercedes driver is said to be debating whether to return to the grid in 2022
- Coulthard believes he will already be over the disappointment and ready to race
David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton will now be ‘bored’ of talk surrounding last month’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the Mercedes driver’s future remains uncertain.
More than a month on from the controversial conclusion to the decisive race of last season, which denied Hamilton a record eighth world title, the Mercedes driver is said to be debating whether to return to the grid in 2022.
Hamilton has been conspicuous by his absence from social media in the weeks since the debacle in the desert, which saw rival Max Verstappen controversially beat Hamilton in a one-lap shootout.
David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton will now be ‘bored’ of talk surrounding last month’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Coulthard believes Hamilton will be back in action for Mercedes when next season starts
The fall out from the race has dominated the off-season and an FIA inquiry was launched earlier this month, but the governing body’s findings might not be made public until the eve of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.
Now, with pre-season testing to begin next month, Coulthard says the disappointment of Abu Dhabi will be gone from Hamilton’s mind and he will be focused on regaining his title.
Speaking in The Telegraph, Coulthard said: ‘I think he will be bored with everyone saying to him, ‘You were robbed, Lewis!’ or ‘You’re the people’s champion, Lewis!’. He’ll be avoiding even having those conversations.
‘The big decision was when he committed to that new two-year contract midway through last season, I don’t think Abu Dhabi changes anything.
‘Of course he would have liked to have won. And I think he was very emotional, as anyone would be under the circumstances.
‘But I think the reality is the shock was probably far less for him than it would have been for Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal], or the rest of the team, or his fans.
‘I can’t compare myself to Lewis in terms of success or speed but one thing I think I can relate to is that emotional detachment, once the moment’s gone.
‘The euphoria of success wears off quite quickly, and the disappointment of defeat wears off quite quickly as well.’
Max Verstappen controversially beat Hamilton in a one-lap shootout to win his first world title
Last week, McLaren boss Zak Brown even admitted he ‘wouldn’t be shocked’ if Hamilton chose to walk away from the sport.
Pre-season testing will begin in Barcelona in less than a month, with Mercedes poised to launch their new car for the 2022 campaign on February 18.
Hamilton may yet decide to see out the remainder of his two-year contract, however, which is valued in the region of £70million.
He is expected to be on site for the launch of the team’s new car, alongside new team-mate and compatriot George Russell.
Brown, who is in regular contact with Mercedes chief Wolff, said: ‘I wouldn’t be shocked if Lewis stopped and I don’t think anyone should take for granted that he is coming back.
There has been speculation over Hamilton’s future in the fall out of the Abu Dhabi controversy
‘We should not discount or not recognise his frustration and anger and maybe he hasn’t taken a decision yet, and maybe what he is doing is taking time to make that decision. I don’t think we should rule retirement out or make light of it.
‘I personally think Lewis still has a burning desire to race, that will ultimately drive his decision, and I think he will be back.
‘Sure, he is very angry, but I think race-car drivers want to race and he is at the top of his game.
‘He is a fighter and he will want to come back and try and win an eighth world championship.
‘Once you hang it up, you hang it up and I don’t think he is ready to do that and let an incident put him into retirement.’