Losing the title hurts Lewis Hamilton. All the more so because not all the rules were followed in the season finale. Speculations are running high that he might even turn his back on Formula 1. Nonsense. The record winner will certainly not want to resign with such a defeat.
The Formula 1 season came to a stormy end. With six laps to go, Lewis Hamilton looked like a surefire world champion. He delivered the fourth perfect race in a row. Until Nicholas Latifi threw his Williams into the guard rail, race director Michael Masi sent out the safety car, Max Verstappen changed the tires, Hamilton didn't, and Masi released the finale again to the astonishment of Mercedes.
Hamilton lost the eighth world title in the last few meters. He probably felt just as powerless in the cockpit as his crew at the command post and in the garage. Everything was already prepared for the big celebration. Instead, there is great sadness and frustration in the camp of the series world champion, although with the eighth Constructors' Cup in a row they have continued to write the legacy as one of the greatest sports teams in history.
Losing is part of winning
Hamilton has been silent ever since. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said that he and his most expensive employee were disillusioned. Because Formula 1 did not comply with all paragraphs of the regulations. But instead gave precedence to the show. This is more than understandable from the perspective of the loser. "I don't think we'll ever get over the pain."
Mercedes does not appeal. Nevertheless, headlines continue to be written. Wolff dodged questions about whether he could give a guarantee that Hamilton would start in 2022. Whether the dethroned world champion might not even give up after the chaos finale in Abu Dhabi and the perceived injustice. A half-baked answer followed. "As a racer, his heart will tell him to keep going. Because he's at the top of his game."
If you scour the media, especially the English ones, then the horror scenario of Hamilton's resignation is obviously very popular. Because it definitely gets clicks and views. It is even written about the possible plan B of Mercedes. But why should Hamilton resign? It is part of the life of a top athlete to suffer heavy defeats from time to time. Losing is also part of winning.
"Right and wrong will always happen," says Wolff. For me, that's the crux of the matter. The FIA can set up a commission. It should tighten the rules, simplify them, formulate them more clearly. She should relieve race director Michael Masi. But no matter what she does. A sporting regulation is read by people. Interpreted and laid out by them.There will never be 100 percent conclusiveness. Because every case is never the same.
Hamilton in the role of victim
Hamilton has won seven world championships in his career. He has 103 wins and 103 pole positions to his credit. He was knighted. He has achieved everything there is to achieve. That doesn't fill him up. Hamilton is a fighter who always strives for new heights. One who has improved year after year and has always drawn new energy from setbacks.
The new cars are an additional source of motivation. The then 37-year-old wants to show his young opponents around world champion Max Verstappen and new teammate George Russell again. It was not for nothing that he only extended his contract in the summer up to and including 2023. Mercedes will work all the harder as a team after the painful experience - and want to hit back all the harder. Anyone who knows this driver and this team knows that's exactly how it is. Nobody is backing down now. The king wants his throne back.
In a way, Mercedes became a victim in the finale. One gets the impression that the serial winner of Formula 1 uses exactly this fact to draw strength. And that the team at least doesn't feel inconvenient when people say that a villain's play finally brought down the superior power. Hamilton is certainly more keen that quite a few are talking about a stolen world title than saying that the record world champion found his master in a young savage.
FIA shouldn't back down
In any case, Hamilton has proven that the title is still awarded through him. If he has the car for it. But every other driver is also dependent on this. No one becomes world champion in Formula 1 without a competitive car – not even high-flyers like Verstappen and Hamilton.
The situation reminds industry experts a bit of the winter of 1992/1993. At that time, a certain Ayrton Senna was dissatisfied. Because Alain Prost had snatched the Williams cockpit from under his nose. Because McLaren boss Ron Dennis wanted to cut his salary. Because there was a threat that he would not be able to compete in the McLaren against Williams for the world championship: which happened. And because he held a grudge against Formula 1 in general.
Hamilton is also angry. However, it is incomprehensible that he and Wolff stayed away from the FIA gala out of displeasure and protest against the system. It's part of being second at the crowning of the world champion, no matter how frustrated you are. Hamilton showed greatness on the Abu Dhabi podium, but he missed it here. Equally, however, the FIA should not follow suit around the new President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. A line should be drawn.Who would benefit from punishing Hamilton for not attending?
There is absolutely no reason for Hamilton to leave Formula 1. He couldn't be in a better place than with Mercedes. He will be handsomely rewarded. He has a partner in Mercedes who is always by his side. Who always gives him backing and supports him in projects close to his heart. These are a few differences from Senna's situation at the time.