Lewis Hamilton backed to snub F1 retirement by David Coulthard – ‘He will be there’

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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David Coulthard has insisted that Lewis Hamilton will not consider the possibility of walking away from Formula One in the wake of Sunday’s controversial ending to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 36-year-old was cruelly denied an eighth Drivers’ Championship title on the final lap of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, with Max Verstappen clinching the honours for the very first time in the most dramatic of circumstances.

The 24-year-old reaped the rewards of FIA race director Michael Masi’s contentious decision to only allow some lapped cars to unlap themselves before the restart.

This allowed Verstappen to close up to Hamilton on much fresher tyres than his Mercedes counterpart ahead of the one-lap shootout that followed.

Red Bull opted to pit the newly-crowned world champion for a new set of softs under the safety car, while Hamilton was told to stay out.

The latter was forced to try and defend his lead on well-worn hard tyres as a result, leaving him as a sitting duck on the decisive final lap.

Mercedes were furious in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s race, seeing two protests rejected by the FIA before eventually withdrawing their appeal on Thursday morning.

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Team principal Toto Wolff went on to suggest that Hamilton could decide to give up on the sport as a result of the events in Abu Dhabi in a candid press conference.

However, Coutlhard believes that the seven-time champion’s formidable standing at Mercedes and fiercely competitive mental outlook will prevent him from hanging up his gloves just yet.

“Hamilton’s commitment is unquestionable,” Coulthard told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He showed why he was a seven-time world champion. He’s a phenomenon and he’s an incredible sportsperson.

“He’s already committed to another two years. He’s a team person, he’s committed to that team and he will be there next year trying to win an eighth world title.

“I think he’s got inner peace. He will clearly be disappointed, to say the least, but you’ve got to try and imagine putting yourself in his shoes.

“He’s a great racing driver, he’s won multiple championships and he’s overcome adversity in his racing career. This is just another of those moments that won’t dilute the many great moments in his career.

“He’s a fantastic example to sportsmen and women out there on how to handle defeat. He recognised the challenge of Verstappen and these are the moments he lives for.


“Yes, he would have wanted to win but he showed his brilliance again.”

Hamilton will be expecting to mount another Drivers’ Championship challenge next season as he seeks revenge on Verstappen after falling short at the final hurdle in this year’s battle for glory.

He will also be faced with the additional challenge of a new team-mate at Mercedes, with George Russell set to replace Valtteri Bottas from 2022 onwards.

Russell was among the other F1 drivers to express their outrage at the events of Sunday’s title decider in Abu Dhabi, with the 23-year-old taking to Twitter to vent his frustration shortly after the conclusion of the race.

“Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

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