Hamilton hasn’t made public comments since his post-race interview with Sky Sports in the immediate aftermath of the controversial finish.
Amid the heartbreak, there have been rumors about Hamilton potentially retiring from Formula 1, despite the fact that he is under contract with the Silver Arrows through the 2023 season after signing a two-year contract extension during the summer.
He even skipped the season-ending FIA prize giving gala, a snub for which he may very well be penalized considering he was required to attend as a top three finisher in the standings. He also failed to return messages from new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
However, Hamilton’s silence since the season ended should not have been unexpected.
In his post-race interview, Hamilton closed with this line, indicating that he wouldn’t address anything until after some time.
“If I’m honest, you know, we’re still in the pandemic and I just really wish everyone to stay safe and have a good Christmas with all their families and then we’ll see about next year.”
“And then we’ll see about next year”
Now that Christmas has come and gone and preseason testing is scheduled to get underway next month, there is no doubt that he is taking this time to assess his future — if he doesn’t already know his decision, that is.
Last year, when Hamilton and Mercedes had not reached an agreement on a contract for the 2021 season, reports suggested that they had until the end of February to agree on a new deal.
This year, we would expect to know sooner.
Preseason testing is scheduled to begin at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday, February 21 and run through Friday, February 25, and more testing is scheduled to take place at Bahrain International Circuit from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12.
The 2022 season is scheduled to get underway at the latter with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 20.
Some sources have already indicated that he will return, while others have indicated not only that he will not, but that Mercedes are already seeking out a potential replacement. Bottom line, none of us really know anything at this point, but based on his most recent public comments, that should change in the near future.