The future of Lewis Hamilton is not yet defined and the British driver could remain on the tracks depending on the outcome of the FIA investigation into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton’s future may hinge on the outcome of the FIA investigation into the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, according to a report by the BBC.
Last month, the boss of Mercedes, Toto Wolff said Hamilton was “disillusioned” with F1 after controversially losing the title, and rumors surfaced that the seven-time world champion was considering ending his career.
In the decisive race for the title, FIA Race Director Michael Masi applied the rules incorrectly to force a restart on the final lap, leaving Hamilton at a huge disadvantage and as an easy victim to Max Verstappen, who outpointed his rival to win the world title.
Mercedes did not appeal the race result shortly after the FIA announced an investigation into Masi’s decision-making late in the race. The outcome of that is likely to be key in dictating Hamilton’s future.
Hamilton has not spoken in public or expressed himself on social media since leaving the paddock on December 12.
The BBC report also highlights that Mercedes has denied having made a deal with the FIA for Masi and Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater affairs, to be removed from their posts.
Either way, Masi’s future remains unclear ahead of the new season, which begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20. Masi took over after the sudden death of race director Charlie Whiting ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix., and it is unclear if there is an obvious replacement in case the FIA needs to find a new director.
It is understood that the FIA investigation was key in Mercedes withdrawing the appeal, and the reigning constructors’ champions hope it will be a thorough and serious process. Speaking in the hours after Mercedes withdrew the appeal, Wolff said his team hopes to hold the FIA to account on how the race that decided the title unfolded.