Two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen believes Mercedes will need to have a competitive car for 2022 for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to remain interested in racing. The saga of Hamilton's stay or departure from Formula 1 continues.
The Briton made his last statement to the media after the last race of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi. That famous, controversial race, more precisely the events during the safety car under which the new world champion was decided, does not come down from the hit pages.
Hamilton was on the verge of winning the title, but it all turned around when SC came out and withdrew from the track. Verstappen defeated the Briton in the last lap, thus reaching the first title of his career. However, FIA racing director Michael Masi is accused of directly influencing the title because of the decisions he made during the SC, and the FIA is already conducting an investigation into the matter.
The 2022 season is getting closer. We get completely different rules because the goal is to completely change the grid and allow other teams and drivers to fight for victories and titles. It is these rules that could reverse the situation when it comes to Hamilton staying or leaving the grid of the premier class.
Hakkinen, who left Formula 1 in 2001 while still at the peak of the sport, says Hamilton is likely to weigh all his options this winter. "Lewis' journey in Formula One has been very long and there are so many elements that will come to his mind as to whether he will continue," Hakkinen told the Press Association.
"Lewis has confidence. He was winning, he was on top of the podium and everyone looked at him like, ‘wow, you’re great’. He thinks that this must continue, so this will be a very interesting year for him.
New rules and Lewis Hamilton
The new set of rules for the upcoming season has yet to give a clear picture of where Mercedes is, something around which Hamilton could pull the ‘hand’ until he sees for himself what position he is in.
The flying Finn thinks that the seven-time world champion will find it difficult to accept an uncompetitive car because he emphasizes that the designers may not find the optimal car that Hamilton would find difficult to accept.
"The rules in Formula 1 have changed dramatically," explains Mika. "It will be a completely new car and there are great chances that the designers may not find the optimal car. If this happens to Lewis, it will be very difficult for him to accept, "said the Finn.
“If you’ve been on top of a mountain and suddenly you have to climb back up the mountain because you don’t have the best car, it will be emotional for him to control it. There are a lot of questionnaires around Lewis. We don't know if he will return, but let's hope he will, "concluded Mika Hakkinen.