Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has listed some of the reasons he believes Lewis Hamilton is so mentally strong. While the seven-time world champion withdrew from giving statements to the media after the last race of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi, his boss clarifies that his mental resilience is not in question due to his experiences with racism in the world of motorsport.
Lewis Hamilton lost his eighth title in the final round of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix because Williams ’Latifi caused the release of a safety car, which allowed Red Bull to gamble with second-placed Max Verstappen to put on a new set of soft tires.
After FIA race racer Michael Masi pulled a safety car in the last lap, where only a few cars came to their intended positions, Max Verstappen attacked and overtook Hamilton in that lap - which started winning the title for the Dutchman.
Apparently stunned by what happened, Lewis Hamilton gave a short interview before going to the podium but disappeared from public view immediately after the trophy was awarded. Not participating in any media interviews, Lewis Hamilton was knighted four days later but did not appear with Wolff at the FIA Awards in Paris.
The Briton stopped following everyone on his social networks, did not post any status updates, the silence was not broken even for his 37th birthday (which was yesterday). Rumors were circulating that he might withdraw from Formula 1 and not participate in the upcoming season.
However, Wolff argues that Lewis Hamilton's mental strength is not in question, and he pointed to some of his heartbreaking childhood experiences. "As a child, he was insulted on the go-kart track," Wolff told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
“White parents forbade their children to communicate with him: it definitely left big scars on him as well. For him, racing was a vent he showed everyone and still is, ”he added.
Toto Wolff on the title
Addressing the media in the days following the defeat in Abu Dhabi, the Mercedes chief said the key task of this winter break was to split the record-breaking eighth constructors ’championship until he overcame the loss of the driver’s championship title.
"We are trying to split the anger over the outcome of the driver's championship, and on the other hand, we are (celebrating) pride and joy that we have achieved something unprecedented, and (it) should definitely be celebrated."
As for that: whether Lewis Hamilton will continue racing in 2022, Wolff believes Hamilton will call on his resilience to return. “I hope Lewis will continue to race because he is the best driver of all time. We will be working on events over the coming weeks and months.
I think as a runner, his heart will tell him, 'I have to keep going,' because he's at the peak of his game. " "But we have to overcome the pain inflicted on him on Sunday: because he is a man with clear values, and it's hard to understand that it happened."