Lewis Hamilton may not return to the sport if former F1 owner Bernie Ecclestone is to be believed.
Ecclestone, who has been considered a supremo in F1 for decades, feels Hamilton could risk tarnishing his reputation if he returns in 2022.
Lewis Hamilton may not opt to return on account of the way the 2021 drivers' world championship ended. Ecclestone feels the Briton needs to 'overcome the pain' from his loss to Max Verstappen if he wants to keep racing in 2022.
Speaking to Blick.ch, Ecclestone had this to say about Hamilton's chances of returning to the F1 grid with Mercedes for the 2022 season:
“I don’t think he’s coming back. His disappointment is too big. And you can somehow understand it. He has seven titles like Michael Schumacher, so maybe now it would be a good time to tackle his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur?”
Lewis Hamilton was in control of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the majority of the race and looked set to win what would have been his eighth drivers' world championship.
That was before a crash by Nicholas Latifi brought the Safety Car out and allowed Verstappen to pit for a set of fresher, soft tires in comparison to Hamilton's worn, hard tires.
Race director Michael Masi then decided to only allow lapped cars stuck between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap before abruptly calling the Safety Car. This ultimately ended up benefitting Verstappen at the expense of Hamilton.
Fashion or American motorsport, what could Lewis Hamilton gravitate to next?
Lewis Hamilton has shown a keen interest in fashion, as Ecclestone pointed out. The Briton has collaborated with designer Tommy Hilfiger and the late Virgil Abloh in the past and has also championed up-and-coming fashion designers of color at the Met Gala.
Should he decide to hang up his racing gloves in F1, Lewis Hamilton could also try his hand out at other disciplines. In the past, he has mentioned his interest in NASCAR and Indycar in interviews. It may, therefore, not be surprising to see the Briton pop up on the American motorsport landscape if his F1 sojourn ends.
Hamilton is already the most decorated driver in the history of F1. He is the only driver in the history of the sport to have more than 100 race wins and more than 100 pole positions. It remains to be seen what he plans to do next for his future.
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