Toto Wolff has warned that the saga surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s potential shock retirement from Formula 1 will race ahead for now.
It is believed the Mercedes team boss met with the FIA’s new president Mohammed Ben Sulayem last Friday to discuss the matter, while star driver Hamilton is reportedly training and relaxing in Colorado amid social media silence.
Wolff told Kronen Zeitung newspaper that he thinks the seven time world champion simply “needs time” to digest the manner in which he lost the 2021 title to Max Verstappen.
“No matter what obstacle has been put in Lewis’ way, he’s known all his life that he has to do his speaking on the track,” the Austrian said.
“Mind you, it’s incredibly difficult for him until he finds the path for him between right and wrong. He just needs time.
“At the latest, we will meet again in February, and it will not be to drink tequila. I had enough of that in Abu Dhabi,” Wolff added.
“He will never forget what happened in Abu Dhabi, because what happened to Lewis was a mistake. He was unbeatable on that day, until the officials blew a fuse and decided to commit several infringements.
“It is difficult to understand and something that will always stay with us. Max (Verstappen) was a worthy champion throughout the season, but on that day Lewis was better and he did not win.”
As for the 2022 season, 1996 world champion Damon Hill urges Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ fans to finally put the championship loss behind them.
“For clarity, my point is this,” said the Briton. “There is nothing that will change the result.
“It was enormously damaging for F1 and for Lewis, but it’s done. We cannot turn the clock back. And it wasn’t my fault, ok? So put the pitchforks down, please.
“All the people who say they have lost faith in F1, they’ll be back.”