There has been radiorom the seven-time world champion ever since a controversial call from the race director led to Max Verstappen passing Hamilton on the final lap to seal his first title.
Lewis Hamilton has been accused of attempting to force Michael Masi out of Formula One in response to the events at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s silence has led to suggestions that he could be pondering his future in the sport as he awaits the outcome of the FIA’s investigation into the race – which could see Masi lose his job.
Dutch sportscar driver Jeroen Bleekemolen has reportedly stated that Hamilton’s influence in the sport could lead to changes being made in the sport.
‘I expect and hope he continues. It’s more fun when he’s there,’ he told Dutch outlet NOS.
‘Lewis is driven and good enough to last a few more years. He also sees that eighth world title.
‘Hamilton is trying to increase the pressure on the FIA motorsport federation and is powerful. I think he wants to get some people out of there, like race director Michael Masi.
‘Lewis wants to turn it upside down. He can do that. He has a lot of influence as the greatest of all. Some people will disappear.’
There have been reports that the FIA are planning a new race-management structure while teams are said to have been consulted over whether there should be a new race director.
The FIA in a statement insisted that no decision has yet been made about Masi’s future.
Findings of their investigation are to be presented later this month before going for approval on March 18 in Bahrain – just two days before the first race of the season.
Their statement read: ‘At this stage, no decision has been taken on the outcome of the detailed analysis currently underway into the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
‘As previously announced, the findings of this detailed analysis will be presented at the F1 Commission meeting in London on 14th February after an open discussion with all F1 drivers and then finally have to be approved at the World Motor Sport Council meeting on 18th March in Bahrain, under the authority of FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.’
At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Masi allowed some cars to unlap themselves and not others, which saw Verstappen move up right behind Hamilton just as the safety car was being brought in before the final lap of the race.
Verstappen, on much fresher tyres after pitting behind the safety car, overtook Hamilton on the last lap to seal the title.
Mercedes lodged protests following the race but they were dismissed and Hamilton has hardly been seen in public since. He went to Windsor Castle to collect his knighthood days after the Abu Dhabi race but that is the only time he has been in the spotlight.
Bleekemolen added: ‘[Hamilton’s] opinion is noticed and everyone is talking about it – that puts pressure on the FIA.
‘They have to intervene and make changes. The FIA has to come up with a good story, otherwise Hamilton’s first words will not be what the F1 leadership would like to hear.’
Masi took on the role of race director after the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting before the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
The FIA’s investigation could lead to an experienced support team put around Masi to help him going forward.
This comes after Red Bull boss Christian Horner and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff both lobbied Masi during the closing moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which determined the 2021 title.