FIA President: Lewis Hamilton ‘Not 100% Ready’ for His F1 Return

Published 01/02/2022, 2:58 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the last time that the F1 fans managed to catch Lewis Hamilton on live TV. Since then, the 7-time world champion is nowhere to be seen, as he even failed to attend the FIA Gala where he had a trophy to earn following the P2 finish in the championship standings.

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The only time he ended up in the headlines was when he finally received his knighthood from the Royal family, hardly days after the heartbreaking season finale. And, unsurprisingly, his strange absence led to a wide range of theories, including the ones that claimed he could retire from racing altogether with immediate effect.

Hence, amidst the ever-rising speculations around this particular fear, the newly inducted FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, opened up about the possibilities of F1 losing its grip on a world-renowned champion like Hamilton.

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What did the FIA president say?

In an interview with MARCA, Ben Sulayem revealed that he had sent messages to Hamilton following the Briton’s lack of presence at the FIA awards ceremony.

Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 7, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during a press conference after finishing the Mexico City Grand Prix in second place FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Sulayem inferred that the Mercedes driver is not ready yet. “I sent him messages. Yes, I think he is not 100% ready yet. And I understand his position,” the Emirati said. Nevertheless, Hamilton’s silence is not irking Sulayem yet, who is optimistic that the 2021 F1 season’s runner-up will return for the approaching campaign.

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Lewis Hamilton is an important part of the sport: Sulayem

The FIA president clarified that Hamilton potentially retiring from F1 are mere rumors. Hence, he sounded quite assured that there is another incredible season featuring Max Verstappen-Lewis Hamilton rivalry awaiting the fans.

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No, I don’t think so. They are rumors. Has he declared that he will not run? Exactly, no! When you are a pilot, you speak for yourself and not what others say about you.

Formula One F1 – New FIA President Press Conference – Paris, France – December 17, 2021 New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem during the press conference REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

I trust that this is not the case. Lewis is an important part of the sport and of F1, his achievements. Verstappen is there. I am sure we will find a very exciting F1 next season,” he concluded.

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Overall, more F1 entities are countering the recent rumors. So, with the speculations surrounding Hamilton’s potential retirement looking far from true, are we in for another ecstatic year of racing?

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Rohit Kumar

1638 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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