Lewis Hamilton's loss at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is still weighing heavy on Toto Wolff.
Not even a week has passed since Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap of the last race of the 2021 season. For the Briton and Wolff, the wounds are still fresh.
Speaking to Bild in Germany about his feelings concerning the conclusion of the 2021 season, the Mercedes team principal said:
“Lewis (Hamilton) and I are still completely disaffected. My heart and soul still cry with every pore. When the principles of the sport are disregarded and the stopwatch is no longer worth anything, one begins to question whether all the work, blood, sweat, and tears are worth it."
The 49-year-old even likened the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' incident from the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
Despite feeling aggrieved, akin to the manner of the English football team from decades ago, Wolff has still been vocal in the media about the situation.
Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, has been explicitly silent ever since curtains were drawn on the 2021 season. Aside from a curt, on-track interview where he was gracious while congratulating Max Verstappen, he has not uttered another word.
Hamilton and Mercedes' ire were on display for all to see when the team declined to participate in the FIA's year-end photo shoot. It refused to send its championship-winning F1 and Formula E cars for the shoot.
The seven-time world champion also did not attend the FIA Gala in Paris. In not attending the prize-giving ceremony, he is now in breach of the FIA's rules, which state that it is compulsory for the top three placers in each series to attend.
Lewis Hamilton's silence leads to retirement speculation
Toto Wolff's reluctance to speak clearly about Lewis Hamilton's mindset and his silence has sparked speculation about his retirement from the sport.
Wolff has already said that nothing can heal the scars he and his driver have suffered as a result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result.
Lewis Hamilton was heard calling the race 'manipulated' as he rounded the final corners of the Yas Marina Circuit. He was also seen sitting in silence in his car for two whole minutes after reaching parc fermé.
Hamilton is still under contract at Mercedes and is expected to team up with George Russell, who replaces Valtteri Bottas in the sister car for 2022.