Toto Wolff believes that the silence created by Lewis Hamilton after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is because he “simply lacks words” because of the feelings of injustice that result from that race. Hamilton entered the final lap of the 2021 season with a leadership position on the track, which allowed him to win a record eighth title but was prevented from doing so by Max Verstappen who overtook and defeated him - resulting in the Dutchman taking the title.
Mercedes was frustrated by the decisions about the famous safety car made by FIA racing director Michael Masi, because of which Hamilton was exposed to Verstappen's attack on fresh tires, so they unsuccessfully protested against the results of the race.
The German team decided not to continue the appeal because they felt the process was directed against them. It has been more than two weeks since the seven-time champion was announced. The Briton did not appear in the media, including social media, except to be photographed receiving a knighthood at Windsor Castle, and appeared in a video at the end of the season at the Mercedes factory that served as a farewell to his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton did not send a message to his fans to wish him a Merry Christmas, leading to speculation that he may be thinking about his future in Formula One. Although the Italian edition of motorsport said Hamilton would honor his two-year contract with Mercedes, Bernie Ecclestone said: "I don't think he's coming back," adding that Hamilton's father did not want to answer a question about his son's future.
On the other hand, the Mercedes boss believes the seven-time world champion is still in shock from what happened in Abu Dhabi. "We're all hesitant about emotions, especially Lewis," Wolff said. "He won the title until the last lap, and then everything was taken away from you from one second (to another)."
“Of course, you lose faith because you can’t understand what just happened. There is silence, of course, because he simply lacks words, ”Wolff assures. The head of Silver Arrows gave an insight into the conversations he had with Hamilton over three days when Mercedes was considering whether to proceed with the further appeal.
"Lewis was in the office with me and everyone else involved, and we were in constant contact in those days," the Austrian continued. The third of those three days was Wednesday, and in the morning Hamilton received his knighthood.
Wolff added: "We returned to video calls this afternoon to decide what to do." "What I told him before (getting the title) is that he should set aside those few hours paying tribute to his life's work and performances so far, to try to take those positive moments with him." "I think he did it, and you could see how honorable it was for him," concluded Toto Wolff.