Mercedes celebrate Lewis Hamilton anniversary as speculation over F1 future continues

The Independent
The Independent

Mercedes have celebrated the anniversary of Lewis Hamilton ’s joining of the team as speculation continues over the British driver’s Formula 1 future.

It is now nine years since Hamilton swapped McLaren for the German-based team, a period that has seen the 37-year-old win six world titles to draw level with Michael Schumacher as the most successful driver in F1 history.

Hamilton is now said to be mulling over whether to remain on the grid in 2022 after being left disappointed by a controversial end to the 2021 season that saw Max Verstappen snatch Drivers’ Championship victory at the last in Abu Dhabi.

While his own absence from social media continues, Hamilton’s team tweeted a celebratory graphic of their driver’s achievements since joining Mercedes.

In 178 starts, Hamilton has scored 3252.5 points, boosted by 82 wins.

Hamilton signed for the team with just a single world title, secured in 2008 as the then youngest world champion in history, a record since surpassed by Sebastian Vettel.

He is said to be awaiting the findings of an FIA investigation into the events in Abu Dhabi before deciding whether to return for the 2022 season, which starts in Bahrain in March.

The decision of race director Michael Masi to allow cars between Verstappen and Hamilton to unlap themselves has been questioned after the space afforded Verstappen the chance to launch a title-winning overtake on the final lap.

Should he return, Hamilton will be joined at Mercedes by George Russell next year.

The British 23-year-old joins from Williams, and replaces Valtteri Bottas, now of Alfa Romeo.

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