Lewis Hamilton ended his social media exile on Saturday amid speculation about the Mercedes driver’s future in Formula One. Hamilton has been absent from social media since being controversially denied a record eighth Grand Prix world title from Abu Dhabi in December. Max Verstappen edged out Max Verstappen in a hotly debated conclusion to the Formula One season. With rumors that he is considering leaving the sport still widespread, Hamilton, who is under contract with Mercedes until 2023, made his first public comment in 56 days.
On Twitter and Instagram, Hamilton posted a photo of himself smiling at the Grand Canyon along with the caption “Gone. Now I’m back!”
What that cryptic comment means for Hamilton’s future in Formula One remains to be seen.
Hamilton was cruising towards the title in Abu Dhabi until the aftermath of a crash elsewhere on the track led to a final lap shootout between the British star and Verstappen.
Verstappen, driving on new tyres, overtook Hamilton to win his first world title in the most spectacular fashion.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hinted that it was possible for Hamilton to leave when he said his driver was “disappointed”.
Race director Michael Masi has drawn criticism for allowing a lap finish, but an FIA inquiry will not be made public until the eve of the 2022 season opener in Bahrain in March.
Mercedes will launch its first car of F1’s revamped technical era at Silverstone on February 18, five days before the first winter test in Barcelona.
Hamilton, who ranks on the same level as Michael Schumacher for seven world titles, is expected to be present for the launch, along with his new teammate George Russell.